RUGBY: Another very close game but a win for gutsy Newbold

Ethan Wookey feeling the force of a Hereford tackle
Ethan Wookey feeling the force of a Hereford tackle

Bottom side Longton visit this weekend

PICTURES BY STEVE SMITH

Lee Lightowler, with James McGill behind

Lee Lightowler, with James McGill behind

Midlands 1 West

Hereford 8 Newbold 10

Gutsy, gutsy Newbold. Newbold won ugly on Saturday at Hereford, a traditionally difficult place to get a result, writes Sean O’Brien.

Newbold have had a few dodgy Novembers in previous seasons and were desperate for last week’s first defeat of the season not to start another spiral in results.

Josh Cooke making a tackle, with Jamie Mapletoft and Phil Reed

Josh Cooke making a tackle, with Jamie Mapletoft and Phil Reed

Hereford dominated much changed Newbold from the start. They are a good side, with a strong pack and some pacy backs as well, and they really proved to be a handful.

Newbold can usually resort to scrum power to sort things out, but not this week, as Hereford seemed to get the upper hand against the Newbold eight on a few occasions. The defence though was magnificent as always.

Though not high scoring there was plenty going on. Phil Reed earned a yellow card for being annoying, and a kerfuffle late on put two more Newbold negotiators in the bin for ten minutes, and the Hereford number four in an early bath.

Skipper Ben Thompson left the field injured giving Charlie Harness a debut opportunity from the bench, and he smashed it. He put in his tackles and some of his team mates’ as well. Great to see ex-youth players that put it in every week for the second team, get a chance - and take it.

James McGill on a run for Newbold at Hereford

James McGill on a run for Newbold at Hereford

Hereford slotted an early penalty and soon after that they scored the try they so deserved. Luckily their goal kicking was woeful and this would prove to be very very costly.

8-0 then at half time, and Hereford were looking as though they could cut loose and put Newbold to the sword.

A slightly different Welsh accent offered advice during the break, Lloyd Warner at the helm for the afternoon.

Yet again Newbold, looking beaten, dragged something up from nowhere and started to compete, gaining more possession and more territory.

Duzza Ziba and Ben Dawes

Duzza Ziba and Ben Dawes

Through sheer doggedness Bold scored a try through man of the match Ethan Wookey, who then converted it and also struck a penalty soon afterwards to somehow snatch an 8-10 lead.

The travelling faithful again made a difference - when things get a bit sticky on the pitch you can sometimes see the players lift their game when the Old Boys on the touch line get into full voice.

Physio and plasterer extraordinaire Rich Welsby is going to be busy the busiest man in the club this week patching up half a dozen lads who are carrying knocks that they would love to rest but can’t because the important games just keep on coming. At one point in this game Newbold’s second row combination together weighed little more than one or two of Newbold’s bigger forwards (you know who you are).

I’ve little more to say about this match, not just because the game just became a midfield dogfight, but because I was at Twickenham watching England beat Australia. Informers Team Manager Dave Smith and Committee man and linesman John Dixon agreed that we’ll never play that badly again and win. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

So ‘Bold were lucky to come away unscathed. Their luck continued into the evening when a friendly landlord gifted them a four foot prize winning marrow to take away with them. What more do you need on a night out?

Bottom of the table Longton visit Parkfield Road on Saturday, and Newbold just have to be thinking of a bonus point win if they are to stay on the heels of leaders Bromsgrove. Dudley Kingswinford did Newbold a favour by surprisingly losing to Old Halesonians, indicating that all of a sudden there are half a dozen pretty good sides competing for the Midlands One West title.