Back then the two sides not only met regularly in ‘friendly ‘ matches but also in County Cup clashes. One highlight for Newbury being Berkshire County Cup winners in 1981 when ‘The Blues’ beat Windsor at The Home Park in a tightly fought encounter-6-3 close indeed but a great game!! It has been over 30 years since Newbury and Windsor met in a 1st XV fixture and the first time in a league affair-may the best team conquer and deserve their due reward!
Last weekend both teams suffered a defeat and on balance, Windsor maybe more disappointed having lost at home to Marlow, whereas Newbury Blues again could have won (having led 22-12 at half time), could have drawn but did eventually lost to an impressive Swindon team who were stronger and more experienced up front and had former Newbury Blue Adam Westall guiding them from fly half. So the warning for Newbury is that Windsor have only won away and for our visitors the fact that Newbury have only won at home!! That said Newbury could have won both away games and Windsor could have won both of their home matches. Defeats to Colney Hill 22-28 and Marlow 23-27 give valuable bonus points but not winning points. Our game against Salisbury was most competitive against a team who last year only missed promotion by drawing their play off game 12-12 at home allowing Avonmouth to be the promoted team as they were the away side. Salisbury are confident that they can do well again this year,(as confirmed by their 27-25 win last weekend at home to Reading) although one or two of their officials did admit they were pleased to avoid promotion. When you look at the fixture list in the league that we left last year, you can understand their thoughts and Amersham and Chiltern remained in that league due to an incredible away win at Old Redcliffians last year, will have been looking seriously at their travelling budget, with four games in Devon, three in Gloucestershire and unbelievably in the South West League a trip to Malvern!
Today’s game therefore represents an opportunity for both teams to move into the higher tier of the mid table battle and for Newbury it will be important to maintain the excellent home form shown against Swanage and Wareham which was spectacular!! There has certainly been a lot of sparkle from the Newbury team in their opening 3 games which has meant The Blues have had a great turnout from the marvellous Newbury supporters who definitely outnumbered the Salisbury home supporters (and probably consumed more beer from the barrel on the touchline as well!) and made a very good show at Swindon last weekend . So far we have enjoyed good rugby days and let us look forward to many more of the same during the course of this season. For Newbury the season offers an opportunity to consolidate and also to visit many old friends especially at Reading ,Bracknell Marlow and today’s visitors Windsor as well as new friends such as Swanage and Wareham , Colney Hill and Old Centralians. The most popular question asked so far this season has been ’ where to Old Centralians come from’ to which one reply was’ somewhere in Gloucester’…. Quite a big county!
£5 to get in U16's free. New lower bar prices and sun shine, what more could you ask for!?
Preview by David Smith.