All Whites - Report
Date: Saturday 3rd December 2011 - Kick Off: 14:30
RFU National - National League 3 South West
|Newton Abbot||25||vs||23||Bridgwater & Albion|
All Whites v Bridgwater
Report by Gordon Hooper
Newton Abbot “All Whites” staged a remarkable comeback – one that Lazarus would have been proud of – to beat a lowly Bridgwater side with the last kick of the match.
At 23-6 down with only fifteen minutes left in the gathering gloom at Rackerhayes it looked as if the Somerset visitors were going to pick up only their second win of a torrid season.
Up until the closing stages Newton looked anything like the side in fourth place but ultimately their experience and tenacity won the day.
Newton withstood early pressure but Bridgwater eventually put the first points on the board via a Sam Osborne penalty.
A spell of home pressure was rewarded with a levelling penalty from full back Josh Smith, but further simple penalty opportunities were turned down in favour of more adventurous but non-productive options.
As the game wore on, failure to turn pressure into points looked to have cost the “All Whites” dearly.
Bridgwater had no hesitation in kicking at goal, captain Osborne banged over a second after Brett Stroud – captain for the day – was put in the bin for killing the ball.
The visitors took advantage of their superior numbers to bank their first try; Smith failed to deal decisively with a bouncing ball on his “22” with visiting No. 8 Jake Childs pouncing to score in clubhouse corner. Osborne’s touchline conversion had his side 13-3 up at the turn.
Things went from bad to worse for the “All Whites” who failed to deal with another long kick ahead, allowing winger Kyle Giblett to score wide out.
With twenty-five minutes left, Smith cut the deficit to 12 points with his second penalty. Smith wasn’t in the action for much longer as he came off worst in a collision with second row Matt Templeman as another kick from Bridgwater caused confusion in the home ranks.
Indeed, it cost a third try with flanker Nick Spellissy grabbing a score for the basement club.
Newton then exerted extreme pressure on the visitors line and in light of an ever increasing penalty count had prop James Bryant yellow carded and conceded a scrummage Penalty Try which Scott Meakin converted.
Failure to catch the restart nearly cost Newton another three points, but crucially Osborne hit the post and the home side capitalised on this reprieve.
More forward pressure led to a short range try from prop Tom Channon on his first match for Newton since returning from Championship side Bristol.
With time running out player coach Andy Birkett – on as a replacement for Smith – punted a penalty to the corner. The ensuing catch and drive – resulting in a 12 man maul – saw Stroud driven over for a try near to the posts. Meakin calmly slotted the conversion to secure the unlikeliest of victories against a Bridgwater side that probably deserved more than the single point gained from narrow defeat.
Tomorrow Newton Abbot, who retained fourth place, finish the first half of their campaign with a daunting trip to Berkshire based outfit Chinnor, who currently lead the table.
The Seconds provide the action back at Rackerhayes where they take on Tiverton in Devon Merit One. Exeter Saracens II face Newton Thirds on the Homers Lane pitch, whilst the Colts are at Tiverton.