January 12, 20202:30 pm

Newbridge RFC vs Portlaoise RFC – MATCH REPORT:

A low scoring match in which the more mobile and stronger defending Newbridge team came out on top against the heavier Portlaoise pack. It was a game of high intensity as Newbridge who are second from the bottom of the league had to win against second placed Portlaoise. Newbridge scored two penalties to Portlaoise one penalty.

There was early pressure from Newbridge in the first ten minutes. In this period Newbridge were held up as they made several trusts at the Portlaoise line. It was end to end play but with little chances of scoring tries. Newbridge outhalf Sebastian Berti go a clean break from the halfway line but was pulled down just short of the line. He was narrowly wide with the penalty kick on 32 minutes. The Newbridge defensive tackling was first class as the heavier Portlaoise pack came at them as they dominated the scrums in the first half. Newbridge tried to shore up the scrums with the introduction of Ian O’Rahelly for Mark Doyle. The half time score was nil to both sides.

Newbridge switched outhalf with Karl Darragh moving from centre and Donal Cashman being introduced at fullback. Cashman proved his worth when he kicked Newbridge into the lead on 54 minutes with a penalty from 33 metres in front of the posts. The lead was short lived as Portlaoise got back on level terms in the 57th minute with a penalty from 22 metres out in front of the posts. Paul McDonald made a welcome comeback from a year long injury as he came into the centre and Paddy Commane entered at prop for Cameron English. Newbridge firmed up their scrum and used their possession well. In the 79th minute they got the telling score from Donal Cashman when he kicked a mighty penalty from 44 metres out near the touchline. Portlaoise put fierce pressure on Newbridge in the closing minutes but the Newbridge defence held out to the last.

Referee John Dunne from the Leinster Branch controlled all phases of the game well.

Best for Newbridge was Cashman’s kicking while Denis Clarke’s runs in the centre brought great drive for Newbridge. Mark Delaney at scrum half did well while wing forwards Damien Tiernan and team captain Jeff Draper tackled everything.

Newbridge: Cameron English, Will Jennings, Brendan Commane, Scott McMullan, Pierce Dargan, Jeff Dreaper (Capt), Brendan Tiernan, Mark Doyle, Mark Delaney, Sebastian Berti, Stephen Cooke, Billy Delaney, Denis Clarke, Eimhin Conroy, Karl Darragh. Subs: Donal Cashman, Paddy Commane, Ian O’Rahelly, Nicholas Harrington, Paul McDonald.

Newbridge are away to Edenderry at Coolavacoose, Carbury on Saturday next 18th Jan 2020 at 8.00pm.