Tue 21 Nov 2017 08:37

Newbold on Avon RFC
Sat 18 Nov 2017, 14:15

Old Laurentians RFC
Saturday 18th November 2017

Clonmell Cup Preliminary Round.

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

Report by Garrie Reeve

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.

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 resulted in Jordy Pocknell scoring a try to leave OLs 12 – 0 up after only 5 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. 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.

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