Clonmel Cup semi-final victory
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Clonmel Cup semi-final
Newbold 2nd XV 24
Daventry 2nd XV 17
In the prequel to Sunday’s main event Newbold 2s took on an extremely well-drilled Daventry side, one of the best prepared second teams we’ve entertained at Parkfield Road for a very long time, writes Keith Fletcher.
Starting up the hill Newbold were soon behind from a powerful Daventry scrum pushing our youthful pack back and quick ball gave their backs an easy run in for the converted try.
Minutes later Newbold were forced to make an early change as stand off Sandy McKee suffered a broken collar bone after stopping a marauding Daventry back row and indiscipline saw the Newbold side down to 14 men.
This unsettled the home side which allowed Daventry to score another easy run in converted try to stretch their lead to 14 unanswered points.
Newbold, now back to full strength, then settled gaining some possession and started to put some good phases of Rugby together.
With the game ebbing and flowing the large part of the first half was played between the two ten metre lines with the odd break from both sides soon snuffed out by some immense tackling all round.
Daventry players were being hit by injuries of their own and Newbold took full advantage when Harrison lead their entire back line a merry dance to round off a quite scintillating solo effort under the posts for Man of the Match Jake Callan to slot the easy conversion.
With less than ten minutes till the break Jake Callan savaged Daventry’s number 8 with a huge hit in the centre coming up with ball which was flashed out wide for Tom Clarke to dive in at the corner for an unconverted try 12-14 at the break.
Now with the slope, Newbold seemed to take charge but Daventry were not finished.
Taking a leaf out of Newbold’s book they pressured the Newbold line, leading to a penalty to extend their lead.
This was the last score for the valiant Daventry lads as some excellent play from the Newbold pack gave centres Danny Treharne and Jake Callan some great quick ball which went wide for winger Sam Weatherall to crash over with two players hanging off him bringing the game to an equal standing with less than fifteen minutes to go.
With talk of extra time ringing round the 300 plus crowd, Kevin Mills went for a gap that dragged in four or five Daventry players and after off loading Danny T smashed his way through the now failing back line.
A sublime pass outside to Harrison saw him grab his brace for the day and Jake Callan stepped up to convert.
The pressure felt by the home supporters and management alike was over minutes later when the referee brought the curtain down on what supporters described as one of the best games of the season and after our first team’s efforts this season a very very big accolade indeed.
A truly fantastic game, played in the correct spirit although temperatures did overflow on some occasions which was as expected in the heat of this ferocious game, nothing more than minor fracas, easily dealt with by the referee.
This game was a pleasure to watch, be apart of and to be on the right side of the result.
This now sets up another final for Newbold against Cup holders Lutterworth on Sunday, May 15 at Rugby Lions - a game that always gets the taste buds sizzling.