This was far from a vintage performance from the home team but they still had too much in their armoury for a dejected Badgers outfit.
The visitors had an opportunity to take the lead after four minutes when the home team infringed at a ruck but Matt Masters kick sailed wide of the uprights. Five minutes later Newent’s George Phelps was guilty of a high tackle and Masters made no mistake on this occasion, to give his side the lead.
The first scrum of the game came on the ten minute mark and what happened would prove to be a decisive advantage for the home side throughout the game. It was a Brockworth put in and Newent heaved their opponents fully ten metres off the ball to win it against the head. On every occasion, Brockworth were not just beaten at the set piece but absolutely battered by the Newent pack, which repeatedly had their opponents going backwards at a rapid rate of knots.
Brockworth’s No 8 was yellow carded after seventeen minutes for a throwing a punch and Newent took advantage of superior numbers when flanker George Phelps made amends for his earlier misdemeanour, when he made an electrifying thirty metre burst to break through the visitors defence. Joe Goatley
was on his shoulder to take the offload and busted through a tackle to go over for Newent’s opening try. Goatley also added the deserts.
The home pack was providing an abundance of possession but unforced errors and ill discipline kept their opponents in the game. As half time approached the Newent pack embarked on a fierce ruck over an opponent who lay on the wrong side of the ball. However, the referee deemed that second row Stuart Gayther
was in fact reckless with the use of his feet and issued a red card, which was a huge blow to the winning aspirations of the home outfit.
Ten minutes into the second period Brockworth closed the gap to one point when Dan Bubb entered the ruck at the side and Masters kicked the resulting penalty. The Badgers must have had visions of a win with a man advantage but numbers were evened up when their winger was yellow carded for impeding an opponent.
The Badgers appeared to be tiring in the scorching heat as Newent started to intensify their efforts. The home pack won a series of quick rucks deep in opposition territory and the astute Goatley, sensing the defence had been pulled out of shape, used his pace and power to scythe through under the posts and then duly slot the conversion.
Two minutes later Newent gave away yet another unnecessary penalty which Masters kicked, to keep his team in the game.
A minute later the home team’s dominance at the scrum (with only seven men) again paid dividends when they won a penalty fifteen metres in front of the posts. Quick thinking John Duffin
surprised everyone by taking a quick tap and go. Although he was stopped just short of the line, Newent recycled the ball and the irrepressible Phelps was on hand to side step his way over. Goatley added the conversion and Newent had extended their lead to 22 – 9.
Brockworth were mounting a brave defence but Newent could scent the bonus point and with ten minutes remaining, it came. Another devastating scrum from Newent enabled powerful scrum half James Dean
to pick up and barnstorm down the blind side to go over in the corner for a superb individual effort. The conversion failed but Goatley struck a penalty with two minutes remaining, to seal a deserved win for Newent.