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Newbridge dig deep to overhaul Kilkenny and move into semi-final

Newbridge College 10 Kilkenny College 8

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Zia Ahmed of Newbridge College, centre, celebrates a turn-over during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Second Round match between Kilkenny College and Newbridge College at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Zia Ahmed of Newbridge College, centre, celebrates a turn-over during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Second Round match between Kilkenny College and Newbridge College at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Zia Ahmed of Newbridge College, centre, celebrates a turn-over during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Second Round match between Kilkenny College and Newbridge College at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Newbridge came from behind to edge out Kilkenny in a thrilling Leinster Senior Cup quarter-final at Energia Park on Wednesday.

These country cousins didn't stand on ceremony, Newbridge carrying the fight through their main men Donough Lawlor, Diarmuid Mangan and Marcus Kiely.

Kilkenny answered it toe-to-toe, blow-for-blow, captain Ryan Strong, Ross Jacob and Joshua Akanji-Murphy hitting everything in sight.
The Kildare school looked the more likely, John Shanahan wheeling and dealing on the right, wing Donal Conroy hunting any reason to get on the ball.

Kilkenny married accuracy with patience in defence, slowly creeping into the game, Charlie Tector launching contestable bombs.
The out-half turned to brute force to make a dent and offloaded for Strong to get in behind and tease out a penalty. Tector made the routine kick for 3-0 in the 24th minute.

Immediately, the balance of the game shifted when Kilkenny centre Mathew Hodgins fielded the restart and, from 70 metres out, shot through the chasing line to round Sam Prendergast for a remarkable try which Tector could not quite convert.

They could have been further clear when Tector pulled a long-range effort just left of the stricks as the half ended.
Thereafter, Newbridge were renewed as Prendergast's passing twice released Conroy.

The gains were coming slightly more easily and Kiely blasted through defenders for a badly needed try, converted by Prendergast to make it a one-point game in the 45th minute.

Newbridge mishandled the restart and had to be committed to stop Greg Edogun's charge as well as benefit from referee John Carvill's whistle to call back number eight Akanji-Murphy from a splintered maul.

The sheer weight of possession and territory from the 'Bridge told when Prendergast struck from a 61st minute penalty and they had the discipline to hold out on the backfoot.

NEWBRIDGE: J Shanahan; D Conroy, M Kiely (capt, S Cahill 63), S Fata (L Berti-Newman 40), D O'Sullivan; S Prendergast, C King; P Leavy (B Watson 40), G McNelis, Z Ahmed, P O'Flaherty, D Mangan, M Dennis (H Masterson 68), C McGroary (L Dunleavy 56), D Lawlor.

Scorers: M Kiely; S Prendergast pen, con

KILKENNY: D O'Neill; G Edogun, M Hodgins, R Strong (capt), A Strong; C Tector, J Coyle (L Foot 53); S Neale, D O'Reilly (H Dawson 52), C Chamney, N Pim, J Cadlbeck, J Treacy (C Reynolds 13), R Jacob, J Akanji-Murphy (F O'Byrne 53).

Scorers: M Hodgins try; C Tector pen

Referee: J Carvill, Leinster Branch.

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