RUGBY: Newbold 3rds go top, but 2nds out of Clonmel

The 3rds’ win over Sutton Coldfield puts them top of Warwickshire 3.

Newbold III 23

Sutton Coldfield III 12

After the previous two weeks pleasing ‘back to back’ victories against local rivals Old Laurentians, the Bold old boys welcomed league leaders Sutton Coldfield to Parkfield Road for a top of the table clash. The signs looked ominous as the visitors took to the field a full hour before kick off to run through their practise drills and impressive looking backs moves.

They also had some sizeable players, most of which appeared to be half the age of the home squad.

However, the visitors were not ready for the guile and experience of the battle hardened Bold Vets contingent, assisted this week by a handful of colts who all contributed to this glorious victory. Bold made their intent clear from the first whistle, showing they were unwilling to take a backward step from the young speedy opposition and soon won a penalty which James Brainwood duly slotted through the posts to register the first score. Young second row Isaac capped a fine game by crossing for a converted try a few minutes later.

A ten minute purple patch for the visitors required a huge defensive effort, with sterling work yet again from narly warhorse Lloyd Bale in the loose. The front row of Squif, Murph and Lovey were also giving their opposite numbers a torrid time at the set piece, effectively starving the Sutton Coldfield backs of any quality possession.

Silvi relieved the pressure with sweetly struck drop goal to give the home side a satisfactory lead of 13-0 at half time.

Captain Richard ‘Chopper’ Wilson urged more from his troops during the interval, reminding them that a 13 point lead was slender against the top of the table visitors.

The Bold players responded magnificently and crossed for an early converted try when winger and new recruit Charles Dickie showed power and pace bursting through two tackles to dot down under the posts. Sutton showed haw dangerous they could be when they responded during the next quarter with two tries to bring them within 8 points and make for a tense and nervous last 20 minutes.

With the large Bold touchline support becoming more vociferous as the tension mounted, the penalty count increased against the home side and enabled the visitors to relieve the considerable pressure time and time again, thwarting the home sides efforts to sieze the vital score. Bold eventually won a penalty of their own in the dying moments, James stepped up to convert and the game was won, leapfrogging the home side to replace Sutton at the top of the Warwickshire League 3 table.

With three more league games to play, including the return away trip to Sutton Coldfield, Bold will need to continue to call on all of their experience and passion to ensure they maintain their top of the table position.

Clonmel Cup Semi-final

Newbold 2nd XV 12

St Andrews 2nd XV 29

On a sunny afternoon both sides seemingly turned up for what was to be a tightly fought game with both teams enjoying good results of recent; However it was St Andrews who started significantly better with strong running from their back three. Newbold’s poor tackling gave the visitors a simple converted try within minutes. The Andrews pack were dominant in both their line out and scrum for the first 20 minutes and this provided a solid platform for the half backs, including ex-Newbold prop Fletcher to make use of lots of ball.

After 20 minutes of the half gone the game looked over with Andrews comfortably 19 points ahead. Only strong tackling from Marney, Hubbard, McCollin and Treharn stemmed the tide for Newbold. With a couple of key substitutions at half time the home side moved in to first gear and finally started to put pressure on the Andrews line outs and scrums. Having previously squandered many a touch kick to the delight of the inform Andrews winger Waldron, Newbold decided to take the more direct approach through bullish runs from Heaton, Mills and Treharn.

The ensuing quick ruck ball was delivered by the improving half back combination of Staley and Shaw who would usually find centre Hubbard in a mood for contact.

This new approach by Newbold finally put Andrews on the defensive and moments later a quick ruck ball found Hubbard who ran through the opposition to touch down for a much needed converted try. With Newbold finally finding their feet, another try was looking ominous. Another quick penalty from Heaton produced a ruck which was fed quickly through the centres who in turn fed winger Facer who was nearly stopped metres from the line but managed to slip the ball to the effervescent Henry to slip down the short side for a second unconverted try.

Newbold finishing the stronger, finally ran out of time and a further Fletcher penalty made the final score 12-29. The better side won on the day and Newbold would like to wish the Andrews all the best for the final. Newbold man of the match was Danny Treharn.