November 14, 20212:30 pm

Leinster League Division 2

Newbridge 25    Portlaoise 15

This was a tough game with both sides putting on the pressure at various stages. Played on a great pitch in perfect conditions scores came frequently at either end. Newbridge scored 3 tries (one a penalty try), 2 penalties and a conversion to Portlaoise’s 2 tries with one converted and a penalty.

The heavier Portlaoise pack tried to control possession in the tight. They were on top in the scrums and used the wing forwards on the short burst at nearly every possibility. On the other hand, the younger Newbridge side ran the ball to the backs at every opportunity.

Portlaoise got off to the perfect start when a loose ball was hacked on in the 9th minute from the halfway line for their fullback Martin Phelan to win the race for the touchdown. Scrum half Jack Reddin kicked the conversion. Reddin was on hand again in the 21st minute to slot over a penalty from close in. Newbridge were slow off the mark up to now but in the 30th minute outhalf Robbie Waters was on hand to kick a penalty from 25metres out on the left-hand side. Things now changed dramatically in the 31st minute when a ball passed through the Newbridge backs put winger Stephen Cooke away from the halfway line. He was taken out as he was about to score with a high tackle from Reddin. Reddin was sin binned and the referee John Dunne awarded a penalty try to Newbridge. In the 39th minute Dave Mullins on the right wing was put away by a good backs move and he scored a fine try in the corner. The half time score was Newbridge 15 Portlaoise 10.

In the second half Portlaoise managed to breach the Newbridge defence only for the carrier to drop the ball in the in-goal area. On 58 minutes Fergal Doyle replaced the injured Stephen Cooke on the wing. Newbridge now had a period of pressure on the Portlaoise line but didn’t score. Portlaoise scrum half Reddin missed a penalty kick on 60 minutes and in the 64th minute following a lot of Portlaoise forward pressure prop Cameron Stuart got over for a try. With the match now at 15 points each it was Newbridge who got a penalty from Robbie Waters in front of the posts. On 74 minutes following strong forward break from Dinny Clarke at wing forward he put fullback Mark Delaney over for a try which was converted by Robbie Waters. Donal Cashman came on for Billy Delaney on 75 minutes.

Best for Newbridge were Will Jennings at hooker and Alex Mateus at prop while Dinny Clarke at wing forward put in a thundering performance. In the backs wingers Stephen Cooke and Dave Mullins did well.

Newbridge: Alex Mateus, Will Jennings, Brendan Commane, Scott McMullan, Cameron English, Jeff Draper (Capt), Tom Treacy, Denis Clarke, Kevin Commane, Robbie Waters, Billy Delaney, Oliver Feigan, Stephen Cooke, Dave Mullins, Mark Delaney. Subs:  Alfie Thompson, Donal Cashman, Mike Doyle, Fergal Doyle.

Portlaoise: Brian Flannery, Ryan McEvoy, Cameron Stewart, Mark Sherlock, Eoghan Brennan, Michael Rigney, Eoin Keenan, Ross Cooper, Jack Reddin, Niall Keenan, Martin Phelan, Sean Mullin, Simon Williams, Jamie Holohan, Ian Corrigan. Subs: Christopher Cahill, Eanna Delaney, John Kavanagh, Brian Dunne, Oisin Bennett.

Newbridge are away to Wexford at 2.30pm on the 28th of November in Park Lane, Wexford.

Leinster League Division 2A (Seconds)

 Portlaoise second team failed to field against a strong Newbridge side.