Newton Abbot “All Whites” had to battle both the conditions created by Storm Brian and a stubborn home side, who belied their lowly status, before recording their sixth win of the campaign.
Before this trip to the Forest of Dean, Newton had been involved in high scoring encounters, anywhere between 59 and 95 points; this match was in stark contrast, though the visitors were more than happy with the low scoring outcome.
Most of the match was played between the two 22’s with neither side spending much time pressing their opponent’s try line.
Lydney, playing up the slope and with the prevailing, though swirling wind, created a few opportunities, but a missed penalty plus an efficient Newton defence left the home side scoreless. The Devonians didn’t really look like scoring in the first half, which left the scores nil all at the break.
The endeavour shown deserved some points, but it took until the 50th minute for the scoreboard to move. The conditions didn’t help the ambitions of either side, but neither did two flat defences which stifled the midfield space.
The eventual breakthrough came via Newton’s fly half Ollie Avery-Wright who chipped over Lydney’s over eager defensive line, gathered the bouncing ball before sliding in from 5 metres for the opening try. The No. 10 missed the conversion but then potted two penalties in the space of five minutes around the hour mark to open up an 11 point lead. Both these kicks were as a result of Lydney’s set-scrum being under pressure.
Conceding 11 points in as many minutes focused the home side who stepped up the pace for the remaining quarter of an hour.
A kick to the corner coupled with a catch and drive surge lead to a try for flanker Kurt Brown near the posts. Fly-half Ollie Locke, who had missed the earlier penalty, put over the conversion to leave his side trailing 11-7. During this build up, Newton were adjudged to have dragged down the maul, which meant a spell on the side lines for second rower Colin Stewart.He became the second Newton player in the bin as winger Kyle Browne’s high tackle meant he had missed some of the first half action.
Two became three as Dean Avery departed, for his part in a bit of a scuffle, virtually as soon as Stewart returned.
Lydney did all they could to break through for a second try which would probably have been enough to give them only their second win of the season, but Newton’s defence held out which was a big relief for Newton’s faithful band of travelling supporters.
Newton Abbot 11