RUGBY: Newbold continue great escape bid with win over Bournville
Important league victories for promotion-chasing OLs and Saints
Newbold upset the form book again under floodlights on Friday evening with a 19-17 win over tenth-placed Bournville. The victory brings them closer to their relegation rivals and now on 33 points they are just five behind both Longton and Lichfield, who have 38. Old Halesonians remain bottom of the Midlands Premier division on just eight points.
The weekend’s results saw Longton lose 32-26 at Bridgnorth and Lichfield lose 19-17 at Derby. Old Hales went down 59-15 at Peterborough Lions.
This Saturday’s fixtures (March 24) see Newbold travel to ninth-placed Derby, with seventh-placed Doncaster Phoenix hosting Longton and Lichfield visiting fourth-placed Scunthorpe. Old Hales have a trip to league leaders Birmingham & Solihull.
Rugby Lions were beaten 24-0 at third-placed Bromsgrove in Midlands 1 West. They remain 11th in the table in what is going to be a very tight run-in for survival.
Also on Saturday bottom club Wolverhampton lost 34-5 to Lutterworth and Camp Hill won 21-19 at home to Melbourne.
Lions, on 38 points, are two points behind tenth-placed Melbourne and still have three teams below them. Next week’s hosts Camp Hill are on 34, with Sutton Coldfield on 31 and Wolverhampton 26, although they all have a game in hand over Lions.
Wolverhampton will host Sutton Coldfield in what could be a decisive week for the relegation-threatened sides.
Old Laurentians were back in form with a 32-17 win at Stewarts & Lloyds. OLs remain fourth in Midlands 2 East (South), with their hosts tenth.
Other results saw Belgrave beat Oakham 45-7, leaders Oadby Wyggestonians win 32-12 at Long Buckby and Luton get the better of Market Harborough 14-7.
The top of the table now sees Oadby on 77 points, Luton on 73, Market Harborough with 72, OLs 67 and Belgrave 61.
This Saturday OLs make the very short trip to eighth-placed Long Buckby, hoping to reverse December’s result when Buckby won 13-12 at Fenley Field.
Rugby St Andrews cemented their top spot in Midlands 3 West (South) overcoming promotion rivals Shipston 17-0 away from home. Saints now have 70 points, with Old Leamingtonians - who beat Alcester 27-17 - in second place on 64. Old Coventrians are third with 59, ahead of Shipston on 56 and next week’s hosts Alcester in fifth place on 50.
Old Covs and Shipston both have a game in hand over Saints.
Rugby Welsh played a friendly with Leamington 2nds on Friday evening, going down 20-19. The only league game played in Midlands 5 West (South) last weekend saw leaders Aldridge beat Keresley 29-7. This weekend, at Alwyn Road, Welsh host bottom club Trinity Guild, who have secured just one bonus point all season.
Welsh are currently fourth on 24 points, behind Aldridge on 38, Kings Norton on 30 and Atherstone with 28.