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Prendergast holds his nerve to kick Newbridge into Leinster senior cup semis

Johne Murphy’s side bounce back after trailing Kilkenny College 8-0 at the break.

On target: Prendergast penalty wins it for Newbridge.
On target: Prendergast penalty wins it for Newbridge.
Image: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO

Newbridge College 10-8 Kilkenny College  

SAM PRENDERGAST WAS the match-winner at Donnybrook as his 62nd-minute penalty edged Johne Murphy’s Newbridge College past the challenge of Kilkenny College in a tense Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final clash.

Following their resounding 45-7 victory against CBC Monkstown in the opening period, Newbridge were high on confidence heading into this encounter.

It was the south Kildare men who made the initial inroads with winger Donal Conroy almost breaking over off a set-piece move. Yet a series of turnovers allowed their Noreside counterparts to grow into the game and out-half Charlie Tector edged Pieter Swanepoel’s side in front through a routine 24th-minute penalty.

Their chances of success were further boosted just 60 seconds later when Matthew Hodgins dotted down in the right corner at the end of a lung-bursting run. Though Tector was off target with a brace of place-kick efforts, Kilkenny were content to bring an 8-0 cushion into the break.

Determined to avoid a third consecutive quarter-final reversal, Newbridge fired back nine minutes after the restart. Captain Marcus Kiely rounded off an intricate move by crossing over to the left of the posts and Prendergast supplied the extras to leave the minimum between the teams.

Akin to the Monkstown game, Newbridge were expected to leave behind a difficult first half and pushed on for another win. A relentless Kilkenny continued to frustrate with some heroic defending, but they finally moved into the ascendancy just past the hour mark.

Shooting at a left-hand angle just outside the opposition 22, Prendergast split the posts in effortless style. Kilkenny were suddenly left to chase the game as a result and while some late pressure was applied in the Newbridge half, they fell short in their quest for a last-four spot. 

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Newbridge College Scorers: 

TriesMarcus Kiely ConversionsSam Prendergast [1 from 1] PenaltiesSam Prendergast [1 from 1] 

Kilkenny College Scorers: 

TriesMatthew Hodgins ConversionsCharlie Tector [0 from 1] PenaltiesCharlie Tector [1 from 1] 

NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE: John Shanahan; Donal Conroy, Marcus Kiely (Sam Cahill ’64), Shane Fata (Lucas Berti Newman ’40), David O’Sullivan; Sam Prendergast, Cormac King; Peter Leavy (Benjamin Watson ’40), Geoff McNelis, Zia Ahmed; Patrick O’Flaherty, Diarmuid Mangan; Mark Dennis (Harry Masterson ’69), Conor McGroary (Luke Dunleavy ’57), Donough Lawlor. 

KILKENNY COLLEGE: Daniel O’Neill; Greg Edogun, Matthew Hodgins, Ryan Strong, Adam Strong; Charlie Tector, Joshua Coyle (Liam Foot ’54); Scott Neale, Darragh O’Reilly (Harry Dawson ’53), Craig Chamney; Noah Pim, Jake Caldbeck; Joshua Treacy (Christopher Reynolds ’13), Ross Jacob, Joshua Akanj Murphy (Fiach O’Byrne ’54). 

Referee: John Carvill

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