Prendergast kicks Newbridge into Leinster Senior Cup semis
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 their opening game, Newbridge were high on confidence heading into this encounter. On the other hand, Kilkenny were battle-hardened as a result of their dramatic 13-10 triumph at the expense of Wesley College.
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’, Pendergast split the posts in effortless style. Kilkenny were suddenly left to chase the game as a result and they ultimately fell short in their quest for a last-four spot.
Scorers for Newbridge College: M Kiely try, S Prendergast pen, con.
Scorers for Kilkenny College: M Hodgins try, C Tector pen.
NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE: J Shanahan; D Conroy, M Kiely, S Fata, D O’Sullivan; S Prendergast, C King; P Leavy, G McNelis, Z Ahmed; P O’Flaherty, D Mangan; M Dennis, C McGroary, D Lawlor.
Replacements: B Watson for Leavy, L Berti Newman for Fata (both 40), L Dunleavy for McGroary (57), S Cahill for Kiely (64), H Masterson for Dennis (69).
KILKENNY COLLEGE: D O’Neill; G Edogun, M Hodgins, R Strong, A Strong; C Tector, J Coyle; S Neale, D O’Reilly, C Chamney; N Pim, J Caldbeck; J Treacy, R Jacob, J Akanj Murphy.
Replacements: C Reynolds for Treacy (13), H Dawson for O’Reilly (53), F O’Byrne for Akanj Murphy, L Foot for Coyle (both 54).
Referee: J Carvill (LRR).