League leaders nine points clear at top of table with three games to go
Midlands 1 East
Newbold on Avon 49
On a glorious spring day Newbold entertained Dronfield, writes Stuart McGill.
Dronfield kicked off and Newbold immediately put Dronfield under pressure. The Bold forwards started to dominate the opening exchanges with Ben Nuttall and Eddie Allen making great attacks with ball in hand. Newbold won a line out on the Dronfield 22 metre line, with ball running through the backs. Great ball handling saw Lloyd Warner score through the middle. Max Titchener added the conversion from out wide.
Newbold began to settle into a rhythm with both forwards and backs combining together. Bold fly half Ethan Wookey kept them going forward and from one of these attacks Phil Reed Jnr scored from close in. Wookey added the conversion to give the bold a 14-0 lead.
Newbold now started to take complete control of the game, with Tom Dixon and Thompson in the forwards dominating the line out. Newbold winger James McGill scored a great individual try when he side-stepped his opposite number out wide and with another 40 yards to go sprinted in to score a great try, which Wookey converted.
With Newbold in complete command they span the ball from every opportunity. The ball handling was slick and precise. Outside centre Lloyd Warner scored another try, once again from great handling from Wookey and Reed Jnr in midfield. Titchener added the conversion to give the Bold a well-deserved 28-0 lead after 30 minutes.
The home crowd were expecting a cricket score but the Bold decided a a game of 20-20 was required and decided to allow Dronfield possession which resulted in them scoring a well-worked try of their own, although the Bold crowd were calling for a dubious forward pass. Newbold responded in the only way they know with a great forwards try from prop Eddie Allen from close range, Max Titchener added the two points to give Newbold a 35– 5 lead at half time.
With the Newbold faithful expecting all the play down at the clubhouse end of the pitch they were to be disappointed because Dronfield decided to join the party and keep possession and attack. Their 10 and 12 looked dangerous with ball in hand. Dronfield added another try after good pressure from their backs. With the score now 35-12, Newbold responded with another try from Titchener, which he converted himself. Dronfield refused to buckle and came straight back to score themselves for 42-17.
The majority of the second half seemed to be played between both 22s with neither side able to score. This was compounded by numerous knock-ons by both sides, which just stopped either gaining any advantage. With the game coming to a close McGill made a great break in midfield and made a an offload inside to support player Reed to score a classic Newbold backs try.
The league leaders closed the game out to make a final score 49-17, adding another well-deserved bonus point to their league tally. The season is closing fast now with just three games to play. The trip to fourth-place Huntingdon & District won’t be easy, but with the finishing line in sight the Bold can’t relax.