Newbury U17’s/U19’s 48 v 5 Banbury U17’s/U19’s Newbury entertained a mixed Banbury Colts side that included some U16’s in order to give them a taste of Colts rugby and make up a squad due to unavailability and injury.
The young Banbury side started well and spent the first seven or so minutes camped in the Newbury half but were unable to break through the resolute Newbury defence. Newbury eventually managed to steal the ball and Alex HARRIS set off breaking through a tackle before passing to Alex Huntsman who sped down the touchline to score under the posts, Richard WEST converting 7-0 (8mins). From the kick off Newbury’s Matt CHILDS catches and the forwards keep possession making good ground through Harry FISHER and Josh WINFIELD before Tom King dummies his tackler and makes the 40 yds to score under the posts, Richard WEST adding the conversion, 14-0 (11 mins).
Newbury are awarded a penalty from the kick off as Banbury stray in front of the kicker, from the scrum Newbury are awarded another penalty which Richard WEST kicks to touch well inside the Banbury half. Newbury win the lineout and Josh PEARCE makes good yards before being tackled and going to ground, the ball is recycled quickly by Tom Lauder and passed wide through the backs allowing Jack Rossiter to go over and score wide out on the left, Richard WEST just short with the conversion 19-0 (15 mins). Banbury manage to steal the ball from the kick off and spend several minutes in the Newbury 22, getting to the Newbury line but are held up by the Newbury defence, Banbury keep up the attack but lose possession when they give away a penalty which Newbury kick to touch to relieve the pressure. Harry SNOOK comes on for Harry FISHER. For the next 10 minutes both sides have chances to score but mistakes and good defence mean the attacking play is halted allowing the defence to gain possession and clear their lines. Banbury lose the ball in the Newbury half allowing Rory Smith to set off on a weaving run then passing to Cameron MERCER who sidesteps one tackler before passing out to Jack Rossiter to crash his way through the Banbury defence and run 60 yds to score under the posts, Richard WEST converting, 26-0 (30 mins). For the rest of the first half due to an injury to the Banbury prop the scrums go to uncontested, Banbury have the best of the play and again are only denied getting over Newbury’s line by some great defensive tackling by the forwards, Alex WEEKES, Ean KERSHAW, Josh WINFIELD unluckily picking up a team yellow card for killing the ball. Tom Lauder managed to get his body under the ball preventing a Banbury try as the half time whistle is blown.
Newbury make several substitutions at half time, Ben TARQUINI on for Harry Swain, Mikey ANSELL on for Alex Huntsman, Will Osbourne for Richard WEST, Tiago Dias for Matt CHILDS.
Newbury are straight on the attack at the start of the second half but lose possession allowing Banbury to kick and clear their lines, Newbury gather the kick in their own half and the backs make good ground allowing Will Osbourne to score wide out Jack Rossiter taking over kicking duties is just short with the conversion 31-0 (40 mins). Newbury are back to 15 players. Banbury regain possession after the kick off and again put the Newbury defence under pressure, good forward work means Newbury turn over the ball and Ean KERSHAW makes good ground before the backs take over and break through the Banbury defence allowing Will Osbourne to out strip the last tackler and score 36-0 (44 mins). Newbury make a couple of substitutions and Tom Lauder sportingly swops shirts to help out Banbury who due to injury are down to 14. Banbury are not deterred and spend the next few minutes in the Newbury 22 and are eventually rewarded for their determination with a try 36-5 (47 mins). For the next 10 mins both sides have their chances but either lose possession or give away a penalty allowing the defence to clear their lines. Newbury eventually make the break through when the forwards steal the ball allowing Josh WINFIELD to make good ground before passing out to the backs who speed upfield getting to just short of the try line, Tiago Dias and the rest of the forwards are quickly there to protect the ball and from the ruck Josh WINFIELD dives over to score, 41-5 (60 mins). Banbury keep their heads up and are unlucky not to score as they kick over the Newbury defence on several occasions but fail to stop the Newbury defence from gathering the ball and kicking to safety, Mikey ANSELL dropping on the ball and Jack Rossiter kicking to safety. Banbury try again this time the kick is just to long and Newbury touch down in their own try area, from the kick off on Newbury’s 22 Banbury knock on giving Newbury the scrum. Newbury spread the ball out through the backs before Tim Blake gathers and makes the final 25 yards to score under the posts, Matt CHILDS drop kicking the conversion 48-5 and the final whistle.
Credit must go to both teams for producing a good clean and fairly contested game of rugby, and special credit to a young Banbury side that never gave up and on another day would have been rewarded for their possession with a lot more points on the board
Man of the Match goes to Cameron MERCER who had a great game at 12, not his normal position
Squad: - A. Weekes, A. Harris, M. Childs, T. Dias, J. Pearce, T. King,
H. Fisher, J. Winfield, E. Kershaw, H. Snook, T. Blake, T. Lauder,
R. West, C. Mercer, J. Rossiter, A. Huntsman, H. Swain, W. Osbourne,
M. Ansell, B. Tarquini, R. Smith