It’s been a few years since the last fixture, but Kenilworth were welcome visitors to Parkfield Road, old adversaries, good friends, but always assured of a tough game and this one certainly didn’t disappoint, writes Alan Bale.
Newbold 18 v Kenilworth 24
Midlands West (South) Div 2
100+ Vice Presidents enjoyed a fine lunch, so it was another big crowd that applauded the teams onto the pitch on a cold winters day with a chilling strong wind, to observe a minute’s silence for Jacky Reed.
The starting Newbold XV didn’t respond quickly enough in the opening stages and it was Kenilworth, using the wind well, who started strongly.
Pressure from a number of phases from one side of the pitch to the other led to a gap opening up in the Bold defence to register the first unconverted score, after just six minutes, to put the visitors 0-5 up.
5 minutes later, lack lustre tackling led to a second try, which was converted for 0-12.
It was not until 17 minutes when Newbold finally awakened, the pack led the way with some good recycled ball that found its way out to young winger Rory Blood. His strong run should have led to a try, but he was bundled out in the corner just a couple of metres short of the line, with another half a dozen games under his belt, these are the sort of chances, he will be putting away, regularly, of that Im sure.
With the forwards now gaining parity and more, with their opponents, it allowed Josh Andrews an opportunity to thread the ball through the line, following it up, only to be stopped for offside by the eager Phil Reed.
Danny Treharne went on a run, well supported by Murphy and Walton, keeping play in the Kenilworth half, which was proving difficult with such a strong wind.
This led to a penalty for Glen Bond to convert for 3-12. It was from the restart that arguably saw the best try seen at Parkfield Rd for some time, certainly the best individual one. As the ball fell to Hyde, he went on a run and passed it to Ben Mann on the half way line, who outpaced three or four defenders, stayed strong on his feet, to bring the Bold right back into the game with a fantastic try right on the ref’s whistle for half time, 8-12.
Newbold didn’t start too strongly in the second half either. They did well to turn over the ball, but a loose pass gave possession straight back to Kenilworth who spun the ball wide to the winger, who sprinted away, cutting in from the touchline for another unconverted try to make it 8-17.
A superb pick up by Reed who went through a gap and passed to Kirby who thought he’d scored, but unfortunately over the wrong line! – Luckily Mark Hyde was in close support and was lethal from two metres to make the touchdown, after a cracking conversion by Bond, 15 -17 and all to play for.
Kenilworth were not finished, secured good ball, slick handling through their back line found the winger to register another converted try to make it 15-24.
There was still time for Newbold to come back and through Reed, Lynch and Andrews, they did just that. It was after a run from Reed, supported by Lynch that they were awarded a penalty in the 10th minute of injury time, Bond ensuring a bonus point with his third successful kick, to make the final score 18-24.
The clubhouse mom award went to Tim Murphy, but I believe there was nothing to choose between him and Nick Walton who both had cracking games.
Newbold can take a lot from this game, Kenilworth were a good, strong side, certainly the best pack they have come up against so far, and will know that they could have won this game if they had made a better start. They will look at their increasing casualty list though, with Andrews, Treharne & Hyde all leaving the field of play with what looked like serious injuries.
It’s good to know that there are a number of players recovered from injury and ready to stake their claim for a first team place and a number of others who will be available for next weeks away match at Upton.
Photos courtesy of Stee Green Photography.