Mater Dei Catholic College went down by 10 points to Kildare on Tuesday night, but served warning they’ll be in the contest when the rivals meet in next Tuesday’s elimination semi-final.
Kildare’s 30-20 victory handed them top spot in Pool A, with MDCC third, meaning they’ll meet at the same time (5.30pm) and same place (Parramore Park) next week.
“Both teams played good attacking football in tough and windy conditions,” acting Kildare coach Matt Conn said. “All we’ve done is given them hope and self-belief that they can match it with us next week.”
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Mater Dei scored first and there was never more than a converted try between the teams until Kildare scored on a fifth tackle play with a couple of minutes to go to put the game beyond doubt.
“They scored, we scored, that was the story of the game,” Conn said.
He said Kildare will need to work on sticking to their game plan at training this week ahead of the return encounter against a rejuvenated Mater Dei side, who were rapt in their improved performance.
“The boys played a much more composed game,” Mater Dei acting coach, Trevor Gyles, said. “They were in control of the game when they had the ball and showed a bit more aggression than we did last Thursday (against Wagga High).”
KILDARE 30 (Ned Sainsbury 2, Sam Heffernan, Sam Macklan, Jake Mascini tries; Matt Knagge 5 goals) MATER DEI 20 (Kip McCrone, Jackson Casey, Joel Tye, Charlie Barton tries; Charlie Barton 2 goals)