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KJ Henry in action for Newbold last winter. The new season starts on Saturday
KJ Henry in action for Newbold last winter. The new season starts on Saturday

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Pre-season friendly

Newcastle under Lyme 21

Newbold on Avon 73

Newbold continued their build-up to the season with an excellent all round performance in Staffordshire, just down the road from the Britannia Stadium.

Ben Thompson captained the side in Dan Facer’s absence through illness and was delighted with what he saw.

It was all Newbold from the start, as a penalty in front of the posts was taken quickly by Lloyd Warner, who powered his way to the line, finding Phil Reed on his shoulder to go in for the first of 11 tries as Josh Andrews made it 0-7.

Newbold took control in all areas including the scrum, where it was clear Ben Nuttall, Stuey Houghton and Ben Dawes quickly gained the upper hand.

Warner looked sharp as he went through again, but kept Newbold in the opposition 22.

As Newcastle responded, it was halted by a superb covering tackle from Reed. KJ Henry was soon on the charge and he was well supported by the Thompson brothers, Ben and Sam.

Newbold created a number of scoring chances through their forwards as Micky Pails was supported by Dan Treharne, as the ball was recycled it was scrum half Declan George who was able to skip over, as Andrews made it 0-14.

Dawes set up the next attack as he caught the ball from the kick off and forced his way through the middle.

Houghton set up Joss Andrews to score the third as he improved it for 0-21. Ethan Wookey then went through the middle, supported by James McGill to keep the pressure on Newcastle.

Sam Thompson sprinted fully 80 metres as he was supported by McGill, who caused an initial scare as he went over clutching his ankle. It looked like he just rolled it, but Jon Bean went on for his debut, and seemed to fit in extremely well.

It was Bean who supported both Ben Thompson and Pails as Ben took a return pass to score the next as the score went to 0-26.

Bold were in top gear as Henry burst through again and as his team won the ball against the head, Henry picked the ball up, after a pass from Sam Thompson and scored his first try. Andrews improved it to take the score to 0-33.

Bold did relax just before half time as Newcastle’s only threat of the first half was from their winger, who picked the ball up in his own 22 and ran all the way to score for 7-33.

Dawes then set up Shaun Pollard to score, Andrews converted and it was 7-40.

Connor Gallagher, Eddie Allen and Simon Smith took the field as Bold rang the changes. Newcastle showed courage as the responded with a try from close in.

Henry was prominent as Sam Thompson picked up from the back to score as Wookey was wide with the conversion, 14-45.

Smith’s catch and drive set up the next as George released his back line and Warner powered through to score, Wookey added the two points for 14-52.

The ball was spun wide again as Wookey ghosted through the middle to score and improved it for 14-59. Quick thinking by Wookey from his 22 enabled Henry to take play back up the field, but as Newcastle kicked their 22 start straight into the arms of Simon Smith standing wide out, his grin took him on a short path to the try line and Wookey converted for 14-66.

Ben Dawes added the final try for his team as Wookey improved it for 14-73.

Newcastle scored a consolation try right at the end for 21-73. Newbold skipper Thompson and coach Matt Davies were pleased with this performance, but added there were plenty of things to work on and that Saturday’s home league kick off v Ilkeston (3pm) would need another level of both intensity and physicality.

Newbold team: Ethan Wookey, James McGill, Phil Reed, Lloyd Warner, Shaun Pollard, Joss Andrews, Declan George, Ben Dawes, Stu Houghton, Ben Nuttall, Ben Thompson, Mick Pails, Dan Treharne, KJ Henry, Sam Thompson, Eddie Allen, Jon Bean, Simon Smith, Connor Gallagher.