POST-MATCH REACTION: LEINSTER SCHOOLS JUNIOR CUP SEMI-FINAL – NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE COACH DAVE BREW
Brew praises Collins for dramatic winning kick
By Daire Walsh
NEWBRIDGE College coach Dave Brew was fulsome in his praise of Michael Collins after his late penalty guided the south Kildare outfit towards a shock 20-18 triumph against St Michael’s College in the Leinster Schools Junior Cup last Wednesday.
Having been introduced to the action with just five minutes left on the clock, there was considerable pressure on Collins to produce the goods. However, the Newbridge replacement rose to the challenge in spectacular fashion.
“He’s a fabulous Gaelic footballer. Once we were on, we had full confidence in him. It’s strange taking off your kicker in those situations, in a game that’s so close. We had confidence that, with him on, we still had that in our locker,” Brew explained after the game.
“The funny thing is, I’d say our regular kicker [Andrew Carroll] probably doesn’t have that distance in him and he [Collins] does. But the regular kicker is more accurate. Luck would have it today that we had him on and he got the opportunity to show what he’s got.”
There was little to separate the teams on the scoreboard throughout the contest with the lead changing hands on several occasions. Yet, Brew believes his troops emerged as worthy victors on the day.
“I really feel they had no answer to what we did for most of today. I’d love to see the possession stats on that, because I’m pretty sure it’d be 80-20. Maybe 75-25. I think we owned the ball and they’d no answer to it. Yes it was dramatic in the end, but I certainly don’t feel that we’re standing here undeserving winners.”
Given they entered this year’s competition as defending champions, St Michael’s were firm favourites to advance from this quarter-final clash. Brew admitted the Newbridge squad were initially put off by the prospect of facing the south Dubliners, but gained self-belief the closer it came to match day.
“I suppose juniors, they’re a fickle bunch at 15. They see the name and they decide whether they’ve won or lost the second they see it. We had three weeks of persuading these guys that we hadn’t lost to Michael’s already.
“We laid out a game plan and we talked about it. We said ‘if you buy into this and trust us, we might be able to do something here’. I’m delighted they trusted us. They got stuck in and deserved everything they got,” Brew added.