Friday 15 December 2017

Halpin stars for quick-fire Newpark

NEWPARK COMPREHENSIVE 30
SKERRIES CC 5
LEINSTER Schools

Fergus Halpin goes over to score Newpark Comprehensive's first try on their way to victory in the McMullen Cup final against Skerries. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile
Fergus Halpin goes over to score Newpark Comprehensive's first try on their way to victory in the McMullen Cup final against Skerries. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

A lightning start, yielding 10 points from two tries in as many minutes, was the foundation for Newpark Comprehensive's triumph in the McMullen Senior Cup final (Section A) at Donnybrook yesterday.

The hot favourites started in whirlwind fashion, keeping the ball away from Skerries in a series of punching moves in close and out wide.

Fergus Halpin was able to fend off the first tackler and round the second to plant the ball with his outstretched arm in the first minute. Conceding early was exactly what Skerries couldn't afford to do.

Leinster U-19 player, Zac Jungmann propelled Newpark forward on a 40-metre run and, minutes later, was last man on the outside for their second try. It was all happening too quickly for the underdogs.

From there, Skerries fought for every blade of grass, as Newpark out-half James Kelly kicked a penalty and left wing Odhran Duignan crossed to make it 18-0 at the interval.

Centre Halpin sauntered in for his second as Newpark continued to play a brand of fluent open rugby.

Skerries were outplayed, but never outfought, and hooker Kieran Leonard claimed their only try in the 52nd minute from one of their trademark powerful line-out maul drives, before full-back Sam Crowe rounded off an impressive Newpark display with a try.

Newpark Comprehensive -- S Crowe; O Duignan (O Baugh 69), E O'Connor, F Halpin (capt), R Sherlock (F Howley h-t); J Kelly, E Thornley; K Sundermann (D Bourke 45), J Sheehan, A Marshall, R Garland, H Connor (J Middleton 53), J Wheatly (R Healy 65), B Clarke (L Hanratty 45), Z Jungmann.

Skerries CC -- E Fox; S Fox (D Sisk 65), F Grant (S Sisk 65), S O'Driscoll (C Delamere 47), P Tucker; K McGrath, E Carron; P Carty-Heffernan (R Grimes 53), K Leonard, S Dwyer (capt), P Rooney, V Watson (C Horgan 23), J Palmer, A Sherlock, M Boylan.

Ref -- N Brannigan (Leinster Branch).

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