Slideshow of a memorable day
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Warwickshire RFU Senior County Cup Final
Sutton Coldfield 3
Newbold added to a season of outstanding league success by claiming the silverware in the final of the Warwickshire Senior County Cup Competition played at the Butts Arena in Coventry, writes Rod Yapp.
In front of a sizable crowd, opponents Sutton Coldfield were simply blown away by Newbold’s pace and power, making this a largely one-sided contest, cheered on throughout by the massed ranks of Newbold supporters who were in fine voice all afternoon.
This was an outstanding team performance, where each individual performance formed part of the final sum. But it has to be said, the ‘Man of the Match’ award has to go to Ben Dawes.
In addition to giving Sutton a torrid time in the scrum, the prop was perpetual motion in the loose, thundering into would-be defenders all over the park and Sutton looked a weary and well beaten side at the finish.
To their credit, Sutton defended manfully in the first half, keeping Newbold at bay whilst under constant pressure for much of the time. But with 20 minutes gone Newbold were on their way, Dan O’Brien slotting a penalty from 30 yards out.
The full back was on target with two more well judged kicks, both from the ‘wrong side’ for a right footed kicker and shortly before half time Newbold finally breached the try line, second row Ben Thompson charging over by the posts.
O’Brien converted for a 16-0 lead at the break, a scoreline which barely reflected the balance of play, with no Sutton player having set foot inside the Newbold 22 throughout the whole of the first half.
That wasn’t the case after the break, Sutton were clearly intent on a better second half performance and they gave themselves an immediate tonic, slotting a straightforward penalty in the opening minute.
And Newbold quickly offered Sutton another up-lift, half time replacement Ben Nuttall finding himself back on the touchline, on the end of a yellow card! Play thereafter was far more even and Sutton found there backs could play a bit, given some ball and the Newbold try line was threatened several times during this period up to the hour mark.
But that was as good as it got for the West Midlands side, Newbold cashing-in on some careless passing along the back division, fly half Ethan Wookey grabbing the interception and sprinting 40 yards unopposed to the try line.
The conversion drifted wide but with a scoreline of 21-3 it was game over for Sutton and they played out time on the back foot, driven on by damage limitation.
And with minutes remaining Newbold were camped on the Sutton line, Ben Dawes rounding off his outstanding performance by charging over for Newbold’s third try, a score which O’Brien improved for a personal match tally of 13 points.
The final whistle heralded the presentation of the trophy and few quiet celebrations throughout the remainder of the evening!
Post match Paul Fereday was a proud and delighted Club Chairman, commenting: “What a wonderful weekend this has been for the Newbold Club. Yesterday Newbold 2nds beat Daventry to reach the final of the Clonmel Cup and on Sunday we had 100 plus minis in the clubhouse for their end of season party.”
That was an emotional occasion which remembered and paid tribute to Club President Alan Bale (RIP) who was the leading figure in the mini section.
And those were also the sentiments of the first team cup winning squad who wanted their win over Sutton to be dedicated to the Club President.
Team: Dan O’Brien, Adam Shaw, Lloyd Warner, Ed Scott, Shaun Pollard, Ethan Wookey, Declan George, Eddie Allen, Stuart Houghton, Ben Dawes, Sam Thompson, Ben Thompson, Mark Hyde, KJ Henry, Danny Facer (capt).
Reps: (all used) Ben Nutall, Kyle Furlong, Tom Grimmett, Manny Sidhu, Ben Hartwell, Danny Treharne, Mich Wells.