Thursday 21 September 2017

A 'Bridge too far for brave Wesley as Cahill gets the ball rolling

Newbridge College 26 Wesley College 5

Tadgh O'Neill of Wesley College goes over to score his side's first try during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup Second Round match against Newbridge College. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Tadgh O'Neill of Wesley College goes over to score his side's first try during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup Second Round match against Newbridge College. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Des Berry

Newbridge delivered on their reputation as Leinster League winners by qualifying for the Junior Cup semi-final at Donnybrook.

Wesley had the benefit of the extra Cup preparation that comes with their passage through to the Fr Godfrey Cup final, which was their route into the competition.

Marcus Kiely of Newbridge College is tackled by Wesley College's Timothy Elliot. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Marcus Kiely of Newbridge College is tackled by Wesley College's Timothy Elliot. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

However, they were the rusty ones and were soon in a 12-point hole when Newbridge clicked into top gear, especially along an on-song three-quarter line.

In recent years, the Kildare school had worked off a template based around high pace and passing skills. This edition looks no different and they didn't take long to hit home as scrum-half Sam Cahill stretched out for the line in the fourth minute.

This was improved when slick full-back James Gaire had the awareness to wait on Daniel Silke-Fetherston, drawing in a defender just long enough to send the winger to the line from near halfway.

Captain John Shanahan converted for 12-0 in the ninth minute.

It looked like a mountain to scale given how ruthless Newbridge had been in seizing on their opportunities.

Wesley were able to arrest the momentum by making it a battle on the gain-line where captain Jamie Kavanagh, props Christopher Gilmer and Jack Fish and second-row Tadgh O'Neill impressed.

It was the latter who benefited from patient build-up play to crash through two tackles for a fine response in the 19th minute.

But the 'Bridge were able to kill the game off with tries either side of half-time.

First, Gaire's show-and-go was the key to splitting Wesley down the right for Shanahan to convert.

Then, the alert Cahill fed centre Marcus Kiely on a hard line to crack Wesley wide open.

Newbridge - J Gaire (D O'Sullivan 55); D Marshall (S Fata 36), M Kiely, J Shanahan (capt, J Murphy 55), D Silke-Fetherston (T Browne 46); D Conroy, S Cahill; C Hart (J Sargent 44), G McNelis (J Sargent 19, M Dennis 37), P Leavy (T McKnight 55), C Ennis, P O'Flaherty (G Nolan-Begley 55), C McGroary, D Lawlor, J O'Connell.

Wesley - J Metchette; J McGoldrick (C Bailey 48), L Fitzpatrick, T Elliot, N Columb (A Evans 55); M Collins, J Atkinson; C Gilmer, J Kavanagh (capt), J Fish, T O'Neill, T Maguire (A Ogunyemi 47), D Fives (F Maguire 55), T Dunne (B McMullin 55), P Costello.

Ref - S Carty (Leinster Branch)

Irish Independent

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