Out-half Maloney a class above as Newbridge power into Leinster quarters

The Kildare school made light work of Pres Bray with a five-try win at Donnybrook.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Newbridge College 36

Presentation College Bray 0

Ryan Bailey reports from Donnybrook

GRANTED IT WAS only a small 70-window snapshot, but the Leinster academy staff will have watched on with serious interest as Luke Maloney, the Newbridge out-half, delivered a performance of outstanding pedigree in this horribly one-sided tie.

Maloney pulled the strings from start to finish, and not only did he end the game with a personal tally of 16 points, but in a Newbridge side consisting of several bright prospects, is undoubtedly the chief orchestrator.

His early score set the Kildare school on their way to an utterly emphatic five-try victory as Niall Smullen’s charges impressed in nearly every facet to comfortably book their place in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

For Pres Bray, this was a disappointing outcome from a game they would have had high hopes for but, in truth, they never settled and an error-strewn performance and porous defensive effort meant the Wicklow school never stood a chance.

Newbridge were clinical in taking their chances to storm into an early lead courtesy of scores from Maloney, Karmon Fitzgerald and captain Cian Prendergast, and they rounded off the scoring through Fitzgerald and Robert Scully in the second half.

It’s difficult to pick out a part of Maloney’s all-round game which caught the eye most, but his kicking from both hand and the tee was superb all afternoon, while his understanding with scrum-half Jack Doyle makes them a brilliant half-back pairing.

Prendergast, captain of the Leinster schools team, had a big game, too, while prop Luke Rigney is a huge physical presence, so much so he stood in midfield off line-outs to offer an explosive carry option.

Although Pres Bray started brightly, and enjoyed a brief foray into opposition territory, it was all one-way traffic after that.

The fluidity in which the Newbridge backline operated, and the superb awareness of Maloney, was too much for Pres Bray to handle, as the out-half darted through and then showed great strength to roll over and ground after being hauled down just short.

Cian Prendergast and Ben Healy Cian Prendergast (left) had a big game for Newbridge (file pic). Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

‘Wake up Pres,’ came a cry from the stands, but they weren’t given a moment to breathe and Maloney’s delightful pop back inside on the loop set centre Eimhin Conrory hurtling towards the whitewash.

That move came to nothing but the second try wasn’t far away, as a similar play, this time involving flanker Oisin Halpin and Fitzgerald, was executed to perfection.

The onslaught continued either side of the half-time interval as Doyle fed Prendergast and the Newbridge captain did the rest, holding off three tackles to power through and finish from 25 yards out.

Maloney converted from in front of the posts and the out-half brought his tally to 12 with a well-struck penalty after another handling error from Pres Bray resulted in their retreating players to be caught offside.

Fitzgerald raced through a gaping hole to dive under the posts and substitute prop Scully finished off another sweeping team move in the corner, with Doyle ending matters fittingly with a sweet conversion from the left touchline.

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A powerful performance, and certainly Newbridge and Maloney are well worth keeping an eye on as the competition progresses.

Newbridge scorers:Tries: Luke Maloney, Karmon Fitzgerald [2], Cian Prendergast, Robert Scully.
Penalties: Luke Maloney [1 from 1]
Conversions: Luke Maloney [4 from 5]Pres Bray scorers:

Penalties: Michael O’Gara [0 from 1]

NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE: 15. Donal Conroy, 14. Con Creedon, 13. Karmon Fitzgerald, 12. Eimhin Conroy, 11. Daniel O’Connor, 10. Luke Maloney, 9. Jack Doyle; 1. Thomas Grant, 2. Larry Kelly, 3. Luke Rigney, 4. Dylan Morrissey, 5. Cian Prendergast (captain), 6. Oisin Halpin, 7. Harry O’Neill, 8. Muiris Cleary.

Replacements: 16. Geoff McNelis, 17. Robert Scully, 18. Mark Moynihan, 19. Conor McGroary, 20. Ruairi Finan, 21. Sam Cahill, 22. Thomas Sheedy, 23. John Shanahan.

PRESENTATION COLLEGE BRAY: 15. David Maloney, 14. Aaron Walsh, 13. Samuel O’Dowd, 12. Michael O’Gara, 11. Josh Pyper, 10. Elliot Ryan, 9. Ben Murphy; 1. Keld Sredojevic, 2. Tom Harbison, 3. Ben Brady, 4. Jack McGrath (captain), 5. Liam Lupton-Smith, 6. Sam Graham, 7. Callum McNulty, 8. Joseph McLaughlin.

Replacements: 16. Darren Magee, 17. Niall Groves, 18. Christopher Williams, 19. Ryan McDonald, 20. Sean Roche, 21. Jack Gallagher, 22. Noah Cummins, 23. Jordan Mortell.

Referee: Glenn Sheridan.

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