“The A’s battle to victory at Slough”
Newbury A’s 24 – 12 Slough 2’s
Tries: Preston, Cleal, Stoneman, Gibb, Carter. Conversion: Spillings
Team: Bailey, Weston, Carter, Bull, Hawkins, McCaskie, Gibb (c), Birch, Paice, Mason, Preston, Williams, Spillings, Stoneman, Childs. Replacements: Crowther, Berry, Cleal, W Smith, D. Smith
The Newbury A’s, unbeaten all season were looking forward to the game, as their two previous fixtures had been called off due to the bad weather. Newbury arrived early to a fixture that had expectations of being a much closer game than the previous encounter at Monks Lane earlier in the season. Despite this, Newbury scored the first try of the game from the kick off. James Bull expertly gathered the ball and two phases later, Dicky Preston went over for the try. From the restart, Slough were using their large set of forwards to crash the ball up but the Newbury defence were well organised and strong, soaking up the pressure. Newbury put themselves under great pressure throughout the whole game, caused by ill-discipline and this cost them two yellow cards. The first yellow card (Carter) was unluckily awarded after 15 mins, which encouraged Slough to press on their extra man advantage. Birch, Childs and Weston made some surging runs, putting the opposition under pressure and then Stoneman finished off a well worked move from the Newbury backline, led by Stu Mason. Unfortunately, Paice had to retire after 25 mins due to a reoccurring injury and was replaced by the young Will Smith. Ed Cleal then replaced Weston (hamstring) and he then crashed over the line for the third Newbury try. After halftime, the weather worsened and this seemed to spur the forward orientated slough team on, by continually testing the Newbury defence. Soon after, Slough crashed over for their first try after some interesting penalty decisions before Gibb broke free to score at the other end (Spillings Converted). Danny Williams suffered a nasty off the ball injury which brought subs D Smith and Crowther (replacement for Bailey) into the fray. Newbury then started to concede a large number of penalties and this resulted in a debatable yellow card for Matt CHILDS. Slough then scored again using their one man advantage but strong forward play by Berry, McCaskie and Cleal allowed for Carter to stretch over the line with the last play of the game.
Captains section: Determined performance in tough conditions. We didn’t make it easy for ourselves with our extremely high penalty count. Defence was fantastic again – players were putting their bodies on the line (literally!) We wish both Gary STONEMAN (broken collarbone) and Danny Williams (concussion) a speedy recovery from their injuries. Please remember, we have a game each weekend for the next six weeks – texts will be sent out. A big thank you to our sole spectator on Saturday – Mr John Mills!