Clonmell Cup and Bugbrooke at home this weekend
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Midlands 1 East
Bedford Athletic 53
If someone had said after ten games you will have 35 points and be third in the table, Newbold would certainly have taken that, but this game showed how much they really have to do, to be thinking seriously of improving their promotion aspirations, writes Alan Bale.
Bedford matched Newbold up front, but with a number of changes to the backs, plus ongoing injuries on top, the Parkfield Road side lacked some strength in depth, on the day, in their back line.
From start to finish, Newbold really didn’t give too many glimpses of their form to date and were cut wide open time and again.
A first-minute penalty for the home side was the start of many mistakes by Danny Facer’s side and soon it became a lot worse as the first of numerous missed line out throws, resulted in the initial try.
Newbold attempted to muscle their way in, but were well matched up front when they did show any purpose.
This was to be one of the themes of the day, as four tries were scored as a direct result of a turnover at the line out.
Newbold defended well at times, especially close to the breakdown, but whenever the ball went wide, it looked as though Bedford would score every time.
A further penalty, and a total of five tries in the first half, a superb kicking display by Mortimer made it 39-0 by half time.
KJ Henry found himself yellow carded in the last seconds of the first 40 minutes, as he reached out to halt another attack and the referee adjudged he did it deliberately.
It was a tough tough day for KJ, being played out of position at centre, but you had to take your hat off to him as he never moaned and continued to put in the all round effort and tenacity he does week on week, but it was too much, even for him.
Newbold turned around, hoping for better fortunes with the wind at their backs, and although they rallied, Bedford managed to score a further two converted tries. The Newbold boys never stopped trying, to their credit and did put some pressure on the home side throughout the second half. This resulted in a score of their own, through one of their best players on the day, Ben Thompson.
A frustrating day against the best side we have come across, in a number of years, but sometimes you just have to shake yourself down, remember how well you have done to date, and look forward to the week after when you can put things right!
We cant forget some of the fabulous performances we have put in so far and I have no doubt that this is what will happen in next week’s league encounter at home (kick-off 2.15pm) to a strong Bugbrooke side before a large enthusiastic crowd of vice presidents. A great opportunity to bounce straight back!
Newbold 2nd XV 7
Towcester 2nd XV 27
Newbold 2nds took on the very well-drilled outfit of Towcesterians.
With the elements and hill against them, the lads stood strong, tackling like their lives depended on it. Ably led by captain Tom Newbold, the team gelled well and turned in a great performance.
Tom Dixon was leaping well in the line out, taking all the opposition’s ball, however, after 25 minutes Towcester managed to break through the tough Newbold defence.
After some superb play from both teams, again Towcester breached Newbold’s line and again in the dying embers of first half this time scoring the conversion to go into the half time break at 17-0 down.
Great team talking brought the boys together and from the outset everyone could sense another bruising half was on the cards.
So it was, with seven changes at half time, continuity was not lacking and for the first 20 minutes Newbold kept the opposition buried in their own half, constantly running at the Towcester back line until a speculative kick forward caught Newbold on the hop and Towcester went in at the corner.
With ten minutes to go Towcester crossed again to bring the score to 27-0, but Newbold were not finished and to round off a truly gritty hard- fought performance Newbold got the score so rightly deserved.
From the outset, this was always going to be a very tough battle with a team some leagues above.
However, to watch the lads put a shift in like they did on Saturday was heartwarming to say the least, a mixture of senior players and youth blending and standing together against fierce opposition goes to show the strength in depth Newbold have.
Carlos Garcia-Maures and Charlie Reed both took the honours for man of the match for outstanding performances.
A massive crowd is expected at Parkfield Road on Saturday when the 2s take on local side AEI in the first round of the Clonmell Cup, as a curtain raiser for the first team game against Bugbrooke. All support is welcome.