RUGBY: Much-changed Newbold beat Old Leamingtonians

Shaun Pollard in action for Newbold against Old Leamingtonians. (Picture by Mike Baker)
Shaun Pollard in action for Newbold against Old Leamingtonians. (Picture by Mike Baker)
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Visit to Old Yardlians on Saturday

Midlands 2 West (South)

Newbold On Avon 31

Old Leamingtonians 5

Newbold had to make a number of changes from last week’s draw at Old Laurentians and it didn’t help matters when two players were injured in the warm up, so the actual starting line up had six changes to the one that took the field last week, writes Alan Bale.

It was a ferocious start from the home side going through some 14 phases of play in the opening couple of minutes as Stuey Houghton drove over for the first score from a few metres out, Joss Andrews’ two-pointer gave the home side an early lead.

Skipper Danny Facer was prominent for his side with a couple of crunching tackles, as Old Leams attempted to repair the early damage.

Tom Grimmett took his opposition line out ball to feed Facer who burst through before offloading to Phil Reed who was stopped, just a short way out from the line. Mickey Pails then went on the charge, attempting to kick through, but the ball just running too far.

The front row of Eddie Allen , Mitch Wells and Houghton looked well in control at the set piece, Allen has been particularly impressive at the scrum once more. After 20 minutes, Danny Treherne and Connor Brown took play into OL’s half, his offload found Grimmett and then Reed’s long pass found the rejuvenated Rory Blood, who ran in from 30 metres, Andrews converting for 14-0.

It seemed like it would be a familiar story, as Bold missed a number of tackles and allowed the OL’s backline to start making ground and mounting a few attacks of their own.

It was the strong running winger Ryan Dee who powered his way through for his team , the conversion missed for 14-5. On his first outing this season, Glen Bond found a couple of superb touch kicks that took pressure off his side. Continued missed tackles, put more pressure on the home side as they were left exposed more than they would like, and it was left to a superb Rory Blood tackle to stop Old Leams scoring again.

Coach Matt Davies called for much more in his half time talk and that’s just what he got as Ben Thompson and Ben Hartwell stepped into the fray.

Early pressure on the OL’s line led to a penalty award and Andrews converted comfortably for 17-5.

Ben Hartwell’s ‘steal’ at the breakdown enabled the blind side move and Keep Newbold on the attack. This was backed up by Andrews whose phenomenal break took him clear of the defence and he was unlucky to be stopped just short.

This set up the platform for Bond to gallop away before finding Andrews, who kicked through as the ball bounced kindly for Reed to score, Andrews converted again for 24-5.

From the kick off, Shaun Pollard burst through fully 50 metres into the opposition 22, the ball was recycled from Declan George out to Rich Allen before finding Reed, whose accurately measured kick found Rory Blood underneath it to stroll home , giving Andrews an easy conversion for a final score of 31-5.

Newbold can be well pleased with this win, showing they have strength in depth, winning well without a number of key players, but it looks like it will once again be a tough league with a visit to Old Yardlians (3pm) this week, never an easy place to go.