A BLISTERING first half and the invention of the Newbridge backs just about got the home side past Cill Dara’s second half fight back led by their pack.
Leinster League Division 1A
Cill Dara: 22
There was an initial warning of Cill Dara’s power up front when they were awarded a penalty try from a five-metre scrum after Karl Darragh had slotted a penalty to make it 7-3 after 12 minutes.
But the Newbridge three-quarters looked dangerous when they did get early ball and they were aided in that regard by some loose kicks from Cill Dara.
Karl Darragh produced a bit of magic when he counter-attacked from midfield and then chased his own chip to dot down close to the posts but failed with the conversion.
Darragh added another penalty after some good play in midfield by the centre pairing of Sean Kelly and Denis O’Callaghan.
With both sides down to 14 after a double sin-binning following a bout of fisticuffs, Newbridge were back on the attack with Darragh O’Brien at outhalf putting the runners into space with some great passing.
A well-placed grubber from O’Brien saw Dave Hogan win the race to touch down as Newbridge stretched their lead and then Darragh added another penalty to make it 19-7
As Cill Dara mounted pressure, scrum-half Dave Hogan intercepted in his own 22 to go the length of the pitch to score under the posts for a converted try.
Newbridge looked unassailable with a 26-7 lead as Cill Dara looked nervous in defence out wide.
The second half began in similar form when O’Brien’s kick saw winger Padraig Mahon came close to added a fourth try but was just beaten by the cover defence.
After that, however, Cill Dara began the long fight back in admirable style lead by their powerhouse No8 Damien Broughall.
Bernard Behan put a penalty over and then a quick-tapped penalty saw Broughall close the game to 26-15 going into the final quarter.
Solid in the line-outs and dominant in the scrum Cill Dara were able to play a percentage possession game that kept Newbridge on the back foot.
It took a big tackle count for Newbridge to keep Cill Dara out with Siona Matangi, Colin O’Brien and Rory McCann all putting the work.
Behan missed one kickable chance as both teams began to tire and then with seven minutes to go Broughall touched down off a quick tapped penalty.
Behan added the conversion from a difficult angle and the Rosetown supporters were left with another tense finish to a game as Cill Dara kept the pressure on.
In the end Newbridge did just enough to hold out but Cill Dara failed to take the chances on offer to capitalise on their forwards’ dominance.
The victory meant Newbridge retained the Jon Conlan Memorial Trophy which is based on the aggregate score between the clubs’ two league fixture this season.