Last game of the season for Newbold
Newbold on Avon RFC 12
Old Yardlians RFC 14
Midlands W3 S
Neither side had anything to gain from this final game of a very successful season. Newbold had already secured promotion and Old Yardlians place in the league was secure. Several changes to the selected side allowed the playing committee to assess the playing strength within the clubs ranks.
The early pressure came from the visitors, forcing Newbold to defend, finally breaking into the opposition half after 10 minutes and winning a penalty some 40 yds out, Dan O’Brien playing his 20th game stepped up and launched the ball cleanly through the posts for a 3 – 0 lead.
Maintaining the pressure Newbold laid siege to Yardlians goal line and were rewarded with a penalty, 5 yds from the line, opting for a scrum where Newbold had hoped to take advantage with the opposition reduced to a 7 man scrummage when the wing forward was sin binned, however the scrum was overturned and the clearance kick found Tom Clarke who ran the ball back and Yards were penalised for off side, another fine kick from the touchline saw O’Brien increase the score to 6 – 0.
Newbold secured the kick off, clearing it up the middle of the park, the visitors returned the kick deep into the home sides 22, taking the wrong option, instead of clearing into touch, deciding to run it, getting caught and were then penalized for failing to release in the tackle. Yards found touch 5 yards from the goal line and the catch and drive paid dividends as they drove over for a converted score taking the lead, 6 – 7.
The kick off bounced nicely for Terry Boneham, who fed the ball to Mark Hyde, who drew the defense giving Obrien time and space to drop kick a further 3 points retaking the lead, 9 – 7. A brief scurry from Newbold chasing a try was dashed as the visitors cleared bringing the first half to a close.
The second half commenced with Newbold’s forwards and backs linking superbly, putting together play after play and only failing to breach the goal line with the final pass either going to ground or knocking the ball on. Newbold were eventually rewarded with another fine penalty from Obrien increasing the score to 12 – 7.
Newbold appeared to merely go through the paces, looking a little too comfortable, opting to go for touch when the posts were begging, it seemed inevitable that Newbold would make another score, however credit to Yards who pounced onto an interception on the half way line and sprinted half the pitch to touch down and convert the try and retake the lead. 12 – 14.
For the first time in the game Newbold instilled some urgency into the game but Old Yards refused to buckle and it was they who finished triumphant, with the final whistle signaling the end of the game.
Newbold can look back on the season with some pride, promotion at the first attempt, Midlands Vase winners and semi finalists in the National Vase, Captain Danny Facer said with some pride: ‘This is as good a side I have played in, we are a very young squad and I relish the challenge of next season, We will get better and better, the feeling down here is excellent and exciting. We need to recruit maybe one or two players strengthen the squad and if we can do that there is no reason for us to fear any side in Midlands W 2 next season.’