Great result sees Bold back up to third in the table
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Midlands 1 East
Newbold On Avon 29
Huntingdon & District 13
This was a clash of fourth-placed Bold versus fifth-placed Huntingdon, so a tough encounter was expected – and that’s exactly what the home side got, writes Alan Bale.
But it was Newbold that came away with a bonus point win and moved back into third place above Kettering who they play away, this Saturday.
The first scrum set the trend as Huntingdon were driven straight off their own ball by a rampant Newbold front eight.
Phil Reed kicked into the corner assisted by a strong wind, but defence held strong as the home team worked hard for the first score.
It was number nine Declan George who ghosted over the line after 10 minutes and the benefactor of a massive effort from his pack, Ben Dawes, Ben and Sam Thompson and KJ Henry all involved as Ethan Wookey added the extras for 7-0.
Newbold gave away a number of penalties, which kept Huntingdon in the game as they were successful with 1 effort from just outside the 22.
Ben Thompson then took the catch in the lineout as his pack powered forward almost 20 metres for the second try and this time it was KJ Henry who stood tall and claimed the points to make the score 12-3.
Newbold were looking for a good lead at half time, but didn’t seem to take as much advantage of the wind as you thought they should have.
More penalties were given away, as time moved rapidly towards 40 minutes. Another three-pointer and Huntingdon were still very much in the game at 12-6.
After a messy kick off, Shaun Pollard hacked through to the opposition line and excellent technical awareness from Danny Treharne as the ball was lodged in the goal area meant he claimed an easy score when it looked like he had gone in from the side, which made it 17-6 at half time.
Disaster struck at the start of the second half as a first minute interception brought Huntingdon right back into it at 17-13.
Mark Hyde, and skipper Danny Facer combined to take play deep into the opposition half. Ben Nuttall and Eddie Allen both came on which ensured that the scrum maintained its dominance throughout.
It was the turn of the hardworking Stuey Houghton to switch play with James McGill and set up another scoring opportunity, but ended with him being bundled into tough near the 22.
It was Newbold’s outstanding scrum that rewarded them their fourth and bonus point try as they shunted the Huntingdon pack off their own ball with the ref having no option but to award a penalty try and a much needed score for the home side, Ethan Wookey converted and it was 24-13.
Sam Thompson, started what was one of the best plays of the game as he picked up at the back of the scrum, fed Shaun Pollard who had Ethan Wookey in support, his kick through for James McGill, just fell short but it was fully appreciated by both spectators and team mates.
It was this classy play that earned the scrum as Huntingdon were driven back again, as Ben Thompson profited with a well deserved try to make the game safe.
Phil Reed picked up a nasty eye injury, which would be a concern to all if it means he will miss a few games, as seems likely. Huntingdon responded, but Ben Nuttall and Declan George worked hard to stop a promising attack.
It was a much better second half for Newbold as they really stepped up when they needed to, and players really grafted hard to ensure victory.
Ben Hartwell was next up as he turned over the ball when Huntingdon looked dangerous.
As the ref blew the final whistle, a 29-13 win, with Huntingdon receiving no points was a cracking result and pushed the Bold back up into third place in this strong league, hard earned, but well deserved.
It’s the start of the second round of league games next week, as Newbold travel to fourth placed Kettering, who just beat them 21-19 with the last kick of the match at Parkfield Road earlier this season. Kick off is at 2.15pm.