THIS Leinster League Division 2A match played under lights in Newbridge on Saturday night was definitely a game of two halves. Portlaoise led by 19 points to 7 after 45 minutes yet they lost to Newbridge who scored six more tries in the second half. Newbridge outclassed the heavier Portlaoise pack with their fitness and mobility as the game wore on.
The early part of the first half saw a lot of Portlaoise pressure as they drove the scrums but it was Newbridge who were first to score with a try from winger Zach Meehan in the 14th minute when he scored under the posts. Out nhalf Donal Cashman converted.
Portlaoise drove a scrum in the 20th minute from within the Newbridge 22 metre line and they ran a resulting penalty from which Robin Foot scored under the posts.
In the 31st minute after a good kick ahead from the Portlaoise winger Glen Connolly and he won the race to scored their second try which was converted by Matthew Coonan. Portlaoise kept up their pressure until the half time break but without adding to their tally.
In the second half Portlaoise pressure again had Newbridge scrambling and Robin Foot crossed the line again in the corner in the 44th minute to leave them two points ahead , 17-19 ahead.
In the 48th minute Ronan Donlon was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on the ball and was yellow carded. From then on it was all Newbridge as they swung into major attack mode.
In the 50th minute second row Cameron English got over near the posts after a lot of Newbridge forward pressure. Cashman converted. Newbridge captain Tom Treacy got over near the posts in the 57th minute. Cashman converted. Ten minutes from time Kristian Steadman got over again after a lot of pressure on the Portlaoise line. Cashman converted.
At this stage, the Newbridge scrum now dominated. In the 73th minute second row Jack Moore got over from close in. Cashman converted. Zach Meehan was again on hand in the 77 minute to score after a good run. Cashman converted. The final score came in injury time when full back Gavin Houlihan got over for Cashman to convert.
NEWBRIDGE: Cameron Stewart, Victor Cotleau, Brendan Commane, Cameron English, Jack Moore, Paddy Corbett, Alfie Thompson, Tom Treacy (Capt), Kevin Commane, Donal Cashman, Stephen Cooke, Michael Omochouke, Kristian Standen, Zach Meehan, Gavin Houlihan, Dan Jennings, Jamie Morgan, Robbie Waters, Senan Vermoose, Jordan Nolan-Mullally.
PORTLAOISE: Jamie Holohan; Glen Connolly, Kade Rennie, Jack Duffin, Matthew Cremin; Jack Reddin, Matthew Coonan; Paddy Coss, Craig Telford, Harry Lalor; Ben Goodall, Mark Sherlock; Ronan Donlon; Robin Foot, Ross Cooper,
Replacement: Jason Carter