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Newbridge RFC vs Wexford Wanderers RFC – MATCH REPORT:
Newbridge finished in 3rd place in the Leinster League in this their final match as they played out this game with a good win over Wexford. This was a game, which was played with snow showers threatening from the first 10 minutes. Referee Niall Behan from Portarlington declared the pitch playable and it was Newbridge who took the game to the opposition from the kick off. A very determined Newbridge had their top priorities on the close in tackling and kicking for territory. They won scoring 4 tries with three of them converted to Wexford failing to get on the scoresheet.
From the kick off Newbridge applied much pressure on the Wexford line as they were willing to spread the play throughout. Wexford on the other hand drove all ball won through their back row from close in but it was the Newbridge tacklers who dominated throughout. Prop Tomas Munita got over for Newbridge’s first try in the 11th minute after winger Liam McGovern made an incisive break upfield. Team captain and second row Ronan Mangan crossed the line in the 16th minute after the No. 8 Mark Doyle surprised Wexford with a quick penalty. Outhalf Ronan Skehan added the conversion. After a lot of Newbridge pressure close to the Wexford line winger Robbie Browner crossed for a well taken try in the 29th minute which was converted by Skehan. Prop Tomas Munita was again on hand in the 32nd minute to cross the line for a try which was converted by Skehan to leave the half time score at 26 points to nil.
With the deteriorating weather, Wexford upped their game in the second period, but some superb Newbridge tackling kept them out. The Wexford scrum began to get on top now, but it was in the lineout that Newbridge were well on top. Wexford began to run the ball to the wing, but they were unable to penetrate the strong Newbridge defence. Congratulations to both teams for a good game in very testing conditions. Referee Niall Behan is also to be commended for his foist class handling of the game.
Best for Newbridge were Tomas Munita at prop, Oisin Howell in the second row and Mark Doyle at No.8. In the backs outhalf Ronan Skehan and later his replacement Donal Cashman handled the ball well and their kicking game was superb. Denis Clarke at centre was very solid in his tackling and driving with the ball in hand.
Newbridge: Brendan Commane, Ian O’Rahelly, Tomas Munita, Oisin Howell, Ronan Mangan (Capt), Denis O’Callaghan, Brendan Tiernan, Mark Doyle, Mark Delaney, Ronan Skehan, Liam Mc/govern, Denis Clarke, Graham Burns, Robbie Browner, Conor Dolan. Subs: Matt Duggan, Denis Murphy, Donal Cashman, Karl Darragh, Billy Delaney.