NEWBRIDGE won the honours for the first time in the Provincial Seconds Cup with a great display of rugby against a typically dogged Tullow at Edenderry Rugby Club last Saturday.
While the pack created the base for victory it was John McNamara’s boot which converted the pressure into points with an almost flawless kicking record.
Up front Ian Burns and Brian Moore helped Newbridge batter their way to early forwards’ dominance.
It gave Barry McCann and McNamara the platform to let the three-quarters cut loose where Tullow had to scramble in defence.
The pace and commitment at the breakdown forced Tullow into conceding a string of early penalties allowing Newbridge build up a lead.
McNamara slotted over his first kick and then McCann came close to scoring with a chip and chase.
Austin Cella’s beautifully floated pass almost had winger Nicky Maguire through and then a second penalty saw Newbridge go 6-0 after 20 minutes.
Tullow then managed to get into the game but missed a kickable chance and Brendan Tierney mounted a spectacular break out to bring play back to Tullow’s line.
Just before halftime Tullow were reduced to 14 men and then from a scrum McCann collected his own box kick to score close to the posts for a 13-0 lead at halftime.
As expected Tullow came back and this time it was Newbridge who were forced to concede penalties on the face of an attacking onslaught.
Opting for route-one rugby, Tullow’s pressure paid off for a try close to the posts with 20 minutes still left on the clock.
McNamara missed a drop goal attempt but from the restart Newbridge won a penalty and he made no mistake for 16-7.
With the clock running down Tullow got in for a second try out wide while Hannigan was binned for a high tackle.
Two drop goal attempts first by full back Niall Morrissey and then McNamara went wide but in injury time McNamara capped a good day with his final kick to win for Newbridge.
Niall Morrissey, Nicky Hannigan, Denis Clarke, Denis O’Callagan, Stephen Cooke, John McNamara, Barry McCann, Austin Cella, Niall O’Connor, Brendan Tierney, Mick Byrne, Ian Burns, Brian Moore, Kevin McCarthy, Dave Morgan. Subs: Colm Dunning, Pat Lawlor, Mark Doyle, Liam Heavey, Shane O’Brien.