RUGBY: Another victory for league leaders Newbold
Club now need three wins out of last four games for title
Midlands 1 East
With 50 regular supporters at Twickenham for the day, it was left to 20 or so non-English or Scottish others, thankfully including Dickie Elliot (Newbold’s loudest), to provide support for the team on a bright afternoon in Northamptonshire, writes Sean O’Brien.
Bugbrooke away was always going to be a tricky fixture; a potential banana-skin for Newbold on the run-in to the season, and a possible league title. An entertaining game ensued, and another good win on the road for Bold.
Bugbrooke had the ball for the first seven or eight minutes of the game, limiting Newbold to a couple of kick-returns. Early signs indicated that Newbold’s scrum would again be a major weapon for the day, though Bugbrooke’s pack really resisted.
However, it was Newbold who scored first on a rare visit to Bugbrooke’s half, Dan O’Brien dispatching a 38-metre penalty straight on.
Bugbrooke bounced back, playing nicely through the phases, until they moved it from right to left for a simple run-in for their left winger. All too simple, as was the conversion from in front of the posts. 8-3 to Bugbrooke.
Continued pressure though by Newbold’s many big ball-carriers, earned a well-finished try for Lloyd Warner to the left of the posts for his plenty-eth of the season. The simple conversion made it 10-8 to Newbold at half-time.
The first half performance was OK at best; Positive decision-making by coach Matt Davies (and his, let’s say ‘purposeful’ half time team talk) stoked Newbold’s coals and the first 15 minutes of the second half took the game away from Bugbrooke.
Douza Ziba and Danny Treharne came on, and Eddie Allen and Micky Pails were put in storage to come on later and finish the game off for ‘Bold. Playing with some zest now, Newbold scored from a set piece move from a centre-field scrum, the ball going through Danny Facer, Phil Reed, Lloyd Warner and Danny Treharne before being finished by Phil Reed. Dan O’Brien converted the simple two-pointer, 17-8, and soon after slotted a penalty to make it 20-8 and provide some comfort, after more forward pressure.
Pressure from Newbold at a line-out in Bugbrooke’s 22m area, led to a fumble by their inside centre, which was snaffled up for a score by Phil Reed, converted by Max Titchener for 27-8.
A soft try was scored late on by Bugbrooke to complete the scoring at 27-15. It’s a good job Newbold can score tries, because we can definitely concede them.
In summary, Phil Reed had a very good game – drop goal attempt apart (just had to mention that) – and looked dangerous throughout; Kyle Furlong continued his growth and was notably strong over the ball at the breakdown; James McGill and Ed Scott kept Bugbrooke’s dangerous wingers generally at bay, but never really got a chance to see if they could tackle; Nick Walton grafted at the contact area, and inevitably Ben Dawes made good yards. The whole front five (whichever was on the pitch at any time) worked hard. Again, we had enough possession to score more points than we did, but taking four points back to Newbold is a satisfying day’s work.
Newbold need to win three of our remaining four games to take the title for sure. More banana-skins ahead. We’re good enough to win all four, but we spurn enough chances to lose games. And that’s why it’s such great entertainment watching the boys in red and black this season.