‘The commitment and attitude of every competing player was absolutely outstanding’
Sandbach 19 Newbold 23
The 90-mile trip to Sandbach, who are sitting comfortably in the top half of the league, eagerly welcomed Newbold, sitting at the tail end of the table, possibly anticipating a home victory, writes Paul Bale.
The kick-off produced a barrage of strong running, forward power from the home side, met equally with a strong rear guard resistance. However with the continued pick and drive, making ground all the time it was only a matter of minutes played when Elliot Morris crashed over the line wide out for an unconverted try, 5-0
The kick-off produced much the same result as the first, this time starting deep in the home side’s half. Again the forwards advanced and although the tackling was strong, the Sandbach support paved the opening for hooker Josh Brown to crash over near to the posts and Sam Winstanley adding a simple kick over the posts, 12-0.
Newbold’s heads never dropped and were rewarded with two penalties, one of them resulting in a yellow card for a high tackle, the latter nearly from the half way line, reducing the score to 12-6.
Another penalty inside Newbold’s 22 was quickly taken releasing Ed Scott who sprinted up the pitch, Kyle Furlong added his support, received the ball and sprinted to the goal line to score, Dan OBrien added the conversion. 12-13.
The visitors continued to forage forward into the home side’s 22. A clearance kick was charged down by Ethan Wookey and the chase for the ball was won by Rob Murray who collected and touched down under the posts, O’Brien adding the extras. 13-20.
Newbold, now playing with their tales up, attacked into the opposition 22. Led by the front row of Ben Dawes, Stu Houghton and Ben Nuttall every single one of the forwards added something to the attack. Sandbach replied with an incredible defence, as crunching tackles kept Newbold at bay.
Another penalty from 40 yards plus fell inches short and the ensuing follow up, resulted in a second yellow card for the number 17 Burton who would take no further part in the game. Half time 13-20.
The start of the second half got under way, with both sides 100% committed. The tackling from both sides was ferocious with no quarter given or asked for.
Kicking mistakes again from both sides led to Newbold’s backs running across the width of the pitch, going forward and over shooting the goal line.
Another penalty to the visitors on the half way line, which hit the crossbar, was followed by yet another and this time O’Brien made sure increasing the lead to 12-23.
Sanbach’s belief that they could still salvage the game continued battering forward, only to be met with a resolute defence. With the play ebbing into both halves, both teams threatened the other’s line. It was only the elementary mistakes which were forced on each team.
Sandbach reverted to using their forward power, picking and driving with good support, getting close enough to the visitors’ line, before popping the ball to the Sandbach winger Morris who added his second score, converted from the touchline by Winstanley, 19-23.
With the clock ticking down Newbold refused to relinquish their lead and finished the game with a well-deserved victory.
Newbold proved, as they did last week, that they are more than able to compete and play at this level. The commitment and attitude of every competing player was absolutely outstanding.
Newbold will welcome high flying Birmingham Solihull to Parkfield Road a week on Saturday (17th). Your support is as much needed as you are welcome.