Danny Facer's last home game and club tie for Manny Sidhu
PICTURES BY STEVE SMITH
Midlands 1 West
Newbold 62 Malvern 3
Newbold put on a wonderful display in front of the assembled Vice-Presidents, writes Sean O'Brien. Apologies in advance for any errors in this report. My attendance at VPs lunch was a distraction from my reporting duties.
Already relegated Malvern did their bit on the day to make a nice game of it but they struggled up front against Newbold’s big pack, and also against the young set of backs in red and black on the day.
Danny Facer was playing his last home game for Newbold and he managed a few runs up the middle of the park like the ones he’s been making for the club for many years. Happy retirement Face, and thanks to him from everyone at Newbold Rugby Club.
Sam Thompson crossed for the first score and soon after, Ben Dawes crashed over. Manny Sidhu’s try on the left touchline, plus Dan O’Brien’s three conversions made it 21 against a penalty by Malvern.
Dawes went on a burst, Nick Walton, Oisin McKenna, Ethan Wookey (playing very, very well at scrum half by the way), and O’Brien got involved in putting Sidhu over for his second of the day.
The game was great to watch, it was loose and unstructured, and Newbold’s backs in particular looked dangerous every time they had the ball. McKenna played at inside centre, showed his skills, and picked up the Man of the Match award.
Sidhu’s hat-trick was celebrated wildly - he was great to watch on the day. He made another break and put Ben Dawes through a gap. Ben saw all that space in front of him and sensibly chose to pass to Ben Thompson to sprint to the line. Ben Thompson soon doubled his tally, again offering great on-the-shoulder support to the ball carrier.
Lee Lightowler took a quick tap penalty, Walton skittled Malvern’s tacklers to set up a ruck on the Malvern 22 metre line. O’Brien, holding the ball like a tennis ball, dived over to score the try.
James McGill finished off after Lightowler and Josh Cooke tore it up from their own 22. Sam Powell joined in the fun late on also with a try. O’Brien converted most for a hatful of points again.
There is more to come from this squad of players. A dodgy result at home to Droitwich a month ago has cost us a play-off place, but Newbold will try to finish the season on a high at Moseley Oak who are struggling at the southern end of the table. More players and more competition for places is needed to sustain top form every week, but the club is in pretty good shape.
Manny Sidhu received his first team tie (awarded the first time a player plays 20 games in a season) on the day he scored a hat-trick. Suitably flash.
Only a try for Danny Facer could have improved the day.