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Defeats for both Newtown sides

Created on 17/01/2011 @ 08:29
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 Newtown failed to make best use of the elements as they went down to a 22-18 home defeat against league newcomers Abergele on Saturday.

Playing against a strong first half wind, a try from prolific wing Richard Andrews was enough to keep Town in touch at half time, going into the break 17-5 down. After the break, Town clawed themselves back to 11-17 with two Matthew Jones penalties.

But ill discipline allowed Abergele back into the Newtown 22, where they capitalised on their position with some solid forward drives, resulting in the decisive score. Town gave themselves some hope as the game drew to a close with a try from full back Joe Murray, converted by Jones, but it was too late to save the match, and the referee blew for a disappointing 22-18 home reverse.
Newtown: A Paget, M Land, D Evans, N Jones, P Morgan, B Lloyd, B Davies, T Bucknall, J Harris, R Meek, R Andrews, S Harris, M Jones, N Lloyd, J Murray. Reps: W Richards, N Heywood, D Price, M Jones
Newtown 2nds went down to a strong Bridgnorth 2nds side 22-12, despite matching their hosts throughout.
Playing into a strong first half wind, Newtown had to defend from the off, with Bridgnorth putting the ball through hands at every opportunity. Using their strong runners, they made inroads into the Town half, and only committed last ditch tackling, notably from centre Greg Kiely and Number 8 Junior Dean, prevented the hosts from taking the lead.

As it was, it was Town who claimed the first points of the game, flanker Nathan Owen spotting a half gap and with a textbook handoff, saw off the tackler to scoot under the posts. Full back Lee Davies added the conversion.

As the half wore on, Bridgnorth upped the pace, and saw far more possession in the Newtown half. Excellent defence again prevented the home side opening their account. The dam was finally breached shortly before half time, the home side’s burly prop picking an angle off the outside half to power over from close range.

Shortly after, Bridgnorth took the lead, with the same man grabbing his second. A shortened lineout move from close range saw his pack drive him over in the corner. With both conversions missed, the sides went into the break with Newtown trailing 10-7.
Bridgnorth extended their lead immediately after the break, good hands sending the winger over in the corner to make the score 15-7. Town were then dealt a setback as they lost scrum half Owain Thomas and wing Anthony Ellis through knocks, and had to reshuffle the side to accommodate their departures.

However, Town were soon back in the match, Hooker Rueben Evans stripped the ball in the tackle, and set off on a strong run. He offloaded to replacement Number 8 Gareth ‘Waen’ Jones, who almost made it to the line. From the resulting ruck, the ball was fed to midfield where prop Gareth Roberts was waiting to dive over for a fine score. The conversion missed, the score was delicately poised at 15-12.

Town then suffered a further setback as they lost replacement second row John Blower with a knee injury. Newtown were putting themselves under pressure through missed first up tackles, and it was because of this that Bridgnorth scored their decisive try, their sizeable winger coming infield to carve through the Town defence and score under the posts, which made the conversion straightforward.

As the match drew to a close, Newtown’s cause was not helped as Hooker Evans was shown a yellow card for a high tackle, although it was acknowledged by all that it was purely accidental. With the clock ticking, Town tried to run from deep, but were thwarted by a committed Bridgnorth defence, and the ref blew up for time on an extremely entertaining game.

Special mention must go to the return of Super Stan Davies, who made a second half appearance from the bench to register his 41st season of rugby!
As we have come to expect, this was another committed performance from Newtown’s ‘Green Army’, and with fewer missed tackles, we would be talking about a fine away win. That said, this was a good hit out before the upcoming league game with Aberystwyth Athletic, where Town will need to be at their very best to come away with the points.
Newtown: G Roberts, R Evans, N Smith, D Andrew (c), N Farrington, B Lewis, N Owen, J Dean, O Thomas, M Pratten J Allen, G Kiely, T Hodgson, A Ellis, L Davies. Reps: K Phillips, J Blower, J Smith, G Jones, S Davies

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