Free weekend now but looking forward to Old Laurentians derby day on November 7
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Midlands 1 East
Northampton Old Scouts 3
Old Scouts beat Newbold in the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup last season, so they were expecting a tough game as the Northampton club made the short journey up the M1 for this league encounter, writes Alan Bale.
It was a rainy and wet afternoon as both teams ran onto the pitch. As early as the second scrum, the home side won the ball against the head and shunted Old Scouts fully 10 metres.
It was from another scrum against the head that allowed skipper Facer to burst through the defence, setting up a platform to move the ball out to Lloyd Warner, to score under the posts. Ethan Wookey added the extras for 7-0.
Throughout the 80 minutes, Old Scouts got hands on the ball around the breakdowns, or managed to spoil the otherwise good ball Newbold could have used, which affected the flow of the game.
From one such turnover, Old Scouts won a penalty which was struck sweetly for 7-3.
Newbold continued to profit from their scrum domination as Declan George spun the ball to Phil Reed, who chipped a smart kick over the top for Ethan Wookey to gather and run in a simple score, adding the conversion for 14-3.
Old Scouts won their share of the lineouts and Newbold were forced to defend in their own 22 for a considerable period.
Kickable options were turned down as Old Scouts looked for the try, but the home defence stood firm, KJ Henry and Danny Treharne both making huge tackles. Phil Reed eventually cleared the danger with a kick to half way.
Sam Thompson, supported by brother Ben, made good ground for Newbold. As the rain came down, both sides made mistakes, which resulted in knock-ons from the slippery ball, leading to a number of stoppages.
Old Scouts received a yellow card after a breakdown, allowing Wookey to extend Newbold’s lead to 17-3.
It was a fairly mediocre first half, which could be considered an unfair judgement, as it is easy to forget what a tough league this is to compete in, but the Parkfield Road faithful have been served up a few tasty dishes so far, and have come to expect more.
Early in the second half, Stuart Houghton was yellow carded for a flailing arm in a maul. Old Scouts missed a relatively straight forward three pointer, with both sides making errors as the deteriorating conditions caused more and more mistakes.
Anthony Freeman made his debut for Newbold and showed enough to prove he will be an asset to this squad over the coming months. Newbold showed glimpses of the exciting brand of rugby served up over the last few weeks, but they just couldn’t seem to click into top gear and keep any momentum.
A good phase of play would break down, and that was to be the story of the second half. You couldn’t forget though, Old Scouts made it tough for Newbold, as their back row continued to disrupt. Newbold’s scrum had the last word though, as yet another was won against the head, Dan Facer and KJ Henry combining for Ben Dawes to force his way over, with Wookey converting for 24-3.
Newbold went all out to get the bonus point score, but as they continued to make errors, it really didn’t look likely, as Old Scouts’ defence stood resolute. Another win for Newbold keeps them in fourth place. Not their best performance, but some more points in the bag.
Team: Rory Blood, Shaun Pollard, Lloyd Warner, Ethan Wookey, Ed Scott, Phil Reed, Declan George, Ben Dawes, Stuey Houghton, Ben Nuttall, Ben Thompson, Sam Thompson, Danny Treharne, KJ Henry, Danny Facer, Anthony Freeman, Mark Hyde, Ben Hartwell.
Newbold have a rest next week, but November is a big month as they look forward to a trip up the road to Old Laurentians on November, kicking off at 2.15pm. Then it’s Paviors at home, followed by a trip to second in the table Bedford Athletic, then a date for everyone’s diary: November 28 v Bugbrooke, the VP’s Luncheon and Ex-England, British Lion and Barbarians skipper, Nigel Redman the confirmed guest speaker. Get yourself down to Parkfield Road!