NEWBRIDGE took the lead early on when Tullow conceded a penalty in the 6th minute for going in over the top and they trailed 3-0. A strong Philip Timmins hit gave Tullow possession but it was short lived as the Bridge dominated the possession stakes in the opening quarter of an hour.
Tullow failed to take advantage of a strong wind at their backs and conceded a further penalty to find themselves 6-0 down after just 20 minutes. Paul Canavan had the chance to bring Tullow within a score of Newbridge but his kick was unsuccessful and it was a let off for Newbridge. Tullow were coping very well with the big Newbridge pressure until a comedy of errors allowed the Kildare team to run in a try under the posts leaving Tullow to trail 13-0 at half time.
Newbridge won a penalty in the first exchanges of the second half and elected to go for the corner. It was the wrong decision however and resolute Tullow defending saw them relieve the pressure. John Fitzgerald came in for Stephen Smith and Tullow stood toe to toe with Newbridge but it seemed unlikely that they would make a breakthrough but a huge team effort eventually saw David Laurence go over and Canavan made the conversion for 13-7
More heavy Newbridge pressure forced Tullow again into penalty concession and it sailed over with the support of the wind for 16-7. With five minutes almost left on the clock it was now or never for Tullow and the inspired substitute; John Fitzgerald, made it 16-12 after Tullow had won a penalty ten yards out in the corner.
The conversion was missed and Newbridge added the insurance score before time was called and Tullow's valiant seconds were left disappointed. Frank Murphy represented the club beforehand while lining out for the Leinster junior rugby side who took on Munster in the curtain raiser to the final.
Tullow: Louis Kilcoyne, Joey Connors, David Laurence, Dylan Kelly, David Kelly, Stephen Smith, Colin Finnerty, John Metcalfe, Paul Canavan, Philip Timmins, Paddy Tobin, Daniel O'brien, Robert Davies, John Fitzgerald, Alan Burns, Ciaran Doyle.