NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE 20, ST ANDREW'S COLLEGE 13
"This is a nice way for some of the boys to leave the school," said coach Jon Newsome when Newbridge held on to win the Vinnie Murray Schools Senior Cup at Templeville Road.
They had to do it the hard way. St Andrew's looked the more in tune, using their number eight, Greg Jones, to gain ground and varying the point of attack into the breeze. They had two penalties, one missed, one driven into touch.
The Kildare boys were much more economical with their use of the ball. They created their first decent opening in the 18th minute and the wings Chris Deane and Phil O'Neill combined down the right for O'Neill to just about ground the ball.
The Dubliners hit back immediately, spreading the ball left for wing Jack Rowe to have a go at Deane. The recycle came and the forwards could not resist keeping it tight for lock Mark Robinson to make it count for a 5-all draw in the 24th minute.
St Andrew's did not deal with the restart and they were made to pay the fine of three points from Robbie Mullen's penalty when they infringed following a serious bout of pressure in which their right wing Luke de Renzy saved a certain try with a legitimate intervention on prop Jonathan Phelan.
The aggression was creeping upwards. A harmless enough melee may have been a factor in referee Gary Glennon sin-binning St Andrew's fly-half Daniel Joyce one minute later for turning his shoulder into Newbridge scrum-half Mullen.
The 'Bridge had a three-point lead and a man extra at the start of the second period. Mullen cleverly looked to exploit the disconnection either side of the 10 channel by flying for 40 metres.
This provided the field position and, also, the trigger for centre Charlie Ryan to come hard and fast onto the ball for a well-crafted try. Mullen converted to make it 15-5 in the 40th minute.
Then, fly-half Mark Sutton, a superb little footballer, orchestrated a try for prop Phelan who was loitering on the left flank of the attack.
It looked like the last nail. It wasn't. St Andrew's returned fire admirably, left wing Rowe diving over in the left corner to make it a double score game. De Renzy's penalty from 35 metres made it a one-score game.
But they couldn't open Newbridge's defence again.
Newbridge College: D O'Loughlin; C Deane, C Ryan, G Burns, P O'Neill; M Sutton, R Mullen; J Phelan, C Murphy, B O'Donnell, S O'Rourke, B Scully, M Kavanagh, O McKnight, B Hayden (capt). Replacements: J Coghlan-Murray for Mullen, C Grant for O'Donnell both 41 mins; R Snell for Kavanagh, I Briody for Deane both 60 mins; H O'Donnell for Phelan, B Delaney for O'Loughlin both 66 mins; C O'Brien for O'Rourke 69 mins.
St Andrew's College: L Boorman; L de Renzy, G Beere, A Waters, J Rowe; D Joyce, K Weymes; S Locke, B Anderson, R Brady, A McCauley, M Robinson, N Veltom, K McCarthy (capt), G Jones. Replacements: A Brady for Anderson, S Fonteyn for Locke, B Ingram for McCarthy all 48 mins; R O'Regan for Boorman, B Stephenson for Veltom both 62 mins; D Hide for Weymes 63 mins.