RUGBY SLIDESHOW: Newbold 3rds and Old Laurentians 2nds in the Clonmell Cup

Action from Saturday's game at Parkfield Road

PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

Chris Le Poidevin tackled in numbers

Chris Le Poidevin tackled in numbers

Clonmell Cup

Preliminary Round

Newbold on Avon 3rd XV 19 Old Laurentian 2nd XV 54

Old Laurentian 2nd XV made the short journey to Parkfield Road eager to prove a point after the previous weekend’s heavy loss to Kenilworth - and it didn’t take them long to begin proving that point, writes Garrie Reeve.

Newbold's Curtley Bale on the charge

Newbold's Curtley Bale on the charge

Playing up the slope, OLs kicked off and immediately recovered possession. With the returning Chris Le Poidevin fending off poor Newbold tackling, the ball was passed through the backline for Tom Waterkeyn to cross over for a try in the corner, converted by Jon Bean.

OL’s were soon back on the attack and strong running and interplay by forwards and backs resultied in Jordy Pocknell scoring a try to leave OLs 12-0 up after only five minutes.

With the bit between their teeth, it was only another 10 minutes before OLs registered their third try of the afternoon. After a strong forward drive off a lineout, the ball was passed out to the backs where Luke Billyeald scythed through the Newbold defence to score under the posts. Again, the try was converted by Bean.

Newbold then began to see more of the possession as the OL’s over eagerness for more ball resulted in the concession of a few of penalties.

OLs' Ben Shepherd scored two tries

OLs' Ben Shepherd scored two tries

However, the OL’s defence stood firm to repel any Newbold attacks. Billyeald, ably assisted by Ben Shepherd in the centres, was to add another converted try; and Shepherd was to score a fine try of his own soon after, leaving the scoreline 33–0 on the half hour mark.

The final ten minutes of the first half belonged to Newbold. After sustained pressure, OL’s defence finally cracked, as they got on the scoreboard with a penalty try, resulting in a half time score of 33–7 to OLs.

The second half started similarly to the first with OL’s scoring soon after the restart through the impressive Robbie Bunn.

Undeterred, Newbold fought back, a situation made easier after OLs were reduced to 14 men by a yellow card. The loss of a player, growing pressure on the OL’s line and poor tackling resulted in a converted try of their own for Newbold.

However, thoughts of an unlikely comeback were quashed shortly on the hour mark. Shepherd was to add his second try of the afternoon, after another of his trademark powerful runs.

Sam Miles was then rewarded for an excellent performance in the back row with OL’s final try shortly after a high kick was well fielded by Esworthy, who released Shepherd down the right wing, finely supported by captain Nick Martin who gave the scoring pass for Miles to score in the corner.

The final passage of the game saw Newbold score a well-earned consolation try when poor tackling was again the culprit. This lapse in concentration can be forgiven after such a fine team performance.

However, hopes of reaching the latter stages of this cup will mean hard work on the training paddock and in future fixtures. Overall, A pleasing return to form and a large step in the right direction.