Novos U15’s brought their eventful 2011/12 season to an end with a narrow defeat in an entertaining match played in a quagmire at Ponteland.
Heavy rain over the past few days had left the pitch sodden and despite the best efforts of both sides to play expansive rugby, handling was difficult and the final quarter of the game resembled a mud wrestling competition in which Ponteland slithered to a late points victory.
Ponteland camped in Novos half for the first five minutes, but a penalty for illegal handling in a ruck allowed Novos to kick for touch and escape from their own half for the first time. Suddenly the visitors came to life and after a series of drives, Oscar at lock made an incisive break from the 22, but could not find the final pass to exploit the overlap and Ponteland cleared. Novos forwards followed up with a 15m rolling maul after a Ponteland clearance had failed to find touch on half way, but again the move broke down due to the problems handling the wet ball.
After 12 minutes it was Ponteland’s turn to butcher an overlap and when Angus’s break was ushered into touch on 5m it looked as if neither side would score. After 20 minutes Rory’s fledgling career as a male model was suspended when his nose was rearranged. But with 4 minutes remaining in the half Will B, running forward to join a ruck on half way, found himself with ball in hand and had the legs to keep going to score in the corner.
Novos made several changes at half time and the second half began evenly. After 9 minutes an outrageous knock on from the home side on half way was missed; Novos hesitated and Ponteland played to the whistle to make an incisive series of breaks. Novos did steal the ball, but poor passing near their own line led to a fumble and Ponteland capitalised to open their scoring.
Ponteland looked the stronger team and after 20 minutes another knock-on caused by the difficult conditions put Novos in trouble and from a 10m scrum the home side scored their second try.
Novos pressed hard at the end, but to no avail.
Cue mud baths for all, followed by bacon sandwiches, cooked individually to order. Good things come to those who wait.
Tries: Will B (26’)
Novos Peter; Kieran, Will S, Angus, Liam M; Matthew, Rory; Anis, Bryn, Dan, Will B, Oscar, Joe C, Alex T, Niall.
Replacements Bradley (for Alex T), James (for Joe C), Ryan (for Oscar), Jack (for Anis), Dylan (for Niall), Kav (for Kieran), Mauro (for Will S), Jonny (for Rory), Olly (for Peter).