Celebrations and action from their 75-0 win over Ilkeston
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Midlands 1 East
Village team, Newbold-on-Avon RFC are on our way to National Three rugby, promoted from Midlands One as champions with a game to spare, writes Sean O’Brien.
Club Chairman Paul Fereday and Club Legend Arthur Spooner addressed the players before kick off. They explained the roots of Newbold RFC and what it would mean to the club if they won on Saturday, emphasising to the squad and coaches that they are the best group of players the club has had and, by winning, would confirm their place in The Bold’s great club history…..they were not to be let down.
The scene was set from the outset for another great day at Parkfield Road. The sun shone, the club’s sponsors were there in force, the veranda was creaking with supporters singing their hearts out in early celebration of what they knew was - in reality - secured the week before when Newbold beat Huntingdon.
Ilkeston were never going to have a chance of derailing the Newbold wagontrain. Nothing could have. Ilkeston put up a tremendous fight despite what the scoreboard says. It would be unfair on them to call them ‘plucky losers’. They contributed tremendously to this albeit Newbold-dominated spectacle.
Recently retired injured Mark Hyde – who has done his bit over the last few seasons for the club, was on waterboy duty, and a fine waterboy he was too, carrying out his duties with aplomb. Nice to have him around.
Newbold put out another big pack and scored eleven tries to nil, and were pretty much untouchable. Ilkeston started strongly, forcing ‘Bold to concede penalties. Newbold won a penalty of their own and kicked to the corner, from where the forwards, like so often before, bullied their way to the line and put Lloyd Warner over for the try. Ben Dawes scored in similar fashion soon after. Then some magic and potentially the try of the season. Ed Scott set off in his own 22 metre area, Phil Reed and James McGill exchanged passes before returning the ball to Ed Scott to finish it off. Ben Dawes got his second and Kyle Furlong another before half time.
The second half started the same as the first half had gone. Reed went over after barnstorming Ben Dawes had cleared the way. From a line-out Nick Walton drove through, the ball was crashed up by big Ben Nuttall and on to Phil Reed to score. A first phase move in centre field put Max Titchener though on the Ilkeston full back, who he drew nicely before passing to Phil Reed for another. Ben Dawes helped himself to a score of his own (his hat-trick try) before Phil Reed finished another fine team move. Four second-half tries for Phil Reed made the clear statement that he will be around for a while yet, despite having had quite a few birthday parties. Roll on, Reedo. A dominant scrum on Ilkeston’s line enabled Declan George to stretch out his arm for the final try. 75-0.
The tries were each topped up with conversions by Dan O’Brien, whose metronomic boot converted ten of the eleven touch downs from wherever and whenever.
Newbold visit Kettering in two weeks time (April 22) for a fixture that – on paper - means nothing for Newbold, but could be important to Kettering in their quest for a home promotion play-off. Unfortunately for Kettering however, Newbold won’t want to sign-off with a defeat, which tees that game up for a nice season finale (and probably another damn party).
Next year will be challenging no doubt, but only a couple of seasons ago we were meant to be getting thumped when promoted to Midlands One. Yes we’ll definitely need to be fitter – the big forwards are already planning on honing their beach bodies anyway - and we’ll need to shore up the team here and there. But we’ll continue to endeavour to look after every player in every team, keep our feet on the ground and make sure we’re in good shape for the long term.
The ‘National Three’ version of Newbold Rugby Club as a whole will look remarkably similar to the current set up, so well managed by SuperChair Paul Fereday and mates who sacrifice so much. Today was just a bit of reward for them, Bishy included of course.
So, The Village People and their entourage are coming to National rugby’s clubs. Those clubs really should brace themselves.