Newent suffered a cruel blow after five minutes when ace playmaker and leading point’s scorer Joe Goatley
had to leave the field with a groin injury. A rearranged back line tackled like demons but never had enough cutting edge to bother the Brockworth defence.
The hosts started strongly in the forwards and forced their opponents into conceding a penalty after fifteen minutes. Full back Brett Gardner
slotted the kick from thirty metres.
Newent went further ahead ten minutes later, courtesy of another Gardner penalty after Brockworth were penalised for going over the top at a ruck.
The visitors attempted to get back into the game but could not win enough worthwhile possession to cause Newent any problems. The home team were hammering away inside the 22 when their opponents relieved the pressure with a long downfield kick. Gardner had the ball covered but it reared unexpectedly out of his control. The extremely quick Brockworth winger was on it like a flash and scampered over the line for a seven point try which was completely against the run of play.
In the second half Newent applied further pressure up front, particularly in the scrum where loose head Morgan Morris led the demolition of their opponents. On the fifty five minute mark the Newent pack went through a dozen phases before enough space was created for scrum half James Dean
to dive over in the corner. The conversion failed but Newent were back in front by 11 – 7 and an upset was on the cards.
Newent suffered further agony when, with 12 minutes remaining, they were reduced to fourteen men when replacement Louis Baker
was sin binned. Brockworth seized their opportunity at a scrum when Newent lacked numbers on the blind side and conceded a try wide out. The conversion failed.
Even in injury time Newent could still have snatched victory when Brockworth were penalised 25 metres out. Again fate conspired against the hosts when Gardner was injured and could not take the kick. Chris Steward
stepped up but the ball sailed wide and the league leaders had held on by the narrowest of margins.
Overall this was a superb performance and everone gave 100%. On another day Newent could have won it.
The Newent pack was outstanding and gave their best display of the season. Morgan Morris again destroyed their tighthead in the set piece and is now playing the best rugby of his career.
The Newent back row of Nottingham, Gayther and Malone had great balance and covered every blade of grass. They carried the ball well and also put in some big hits.
If Newent can continue in this vein then they will undoubtably consolidate their existance in this, their first season, in Div 1.