Final Score: 26 – 20
3 x Jack Sweeny – (Sponsored by Lackfords Debt Recovery)
With Kingsbridge travelling on a very good run of games with only one loss against the top of the table side Wadebridge Camels since we last played them. It would be a huge lack of judgement to sit on the superb performances that positioned the #AllWhites in second place in the Tribute Western Counties West league and expect a walkover win.
However, this was more than just a league match. Newton had already secured a home final in the Devon Intermediate Cup on the 30th of April before this match had kicked off. If Kingsbridge could secure one point by either scoring 4 tries or by losing by seven points or less it would be highly likely that they would also secure a position in the final.
Well, they did both. And unless They lose against a low lying Paignton it’s highly unlikely that they will not make the final, although Teignmouth will be on cheering on Paignton to do them a favour.
The match started off with Kingsbridge sitting back to see what Newton had to offer and Newton applied the pressure Kingbridge made a few handling errors in their own 22 and an on-form Corey Whane scored in the corner with only three minutes on the clock. Jack Sweeney converted one of the trickier conversions of the day to cap the try 7 – 0.
It was barely only 4 mins later when captain Jake Monnington intercepted a pass and run in from 40 meters to dot it down under the posts and an easy conversion for flyhalf Jack Sweeney saw the score at 14 – 0 and less than ten minutes played. If I was to rewind back to the earlier part of the season these sort of tries where the “rub of the green” is not in your favour, would often see us on the unfortunate side of luck, we lost games by one, five and seven points. Do you make your own luck? I believe so. The team dug in deep and they needed to…
Kingsbridge had a very good lineout maul and it was effective to the point it was by far their strongest attack. It was frustrating to see us bite into the maul rather than sitting off and not allowing the forwards to move forward. Kingsbridge had found their recent form and scored a try through scrum-half Jack Evans. Game on 14 – 5 to Newton.
Kingbridge were firing. They had a steady game plan but it was effective. I felt we had much more depth to our game but struggled to find our shape. It was to be slightly expected with five or six first-team regulars out. However, saying that two homegrown colts made their debuts. Jay Barnes who play a full eighty and I would have no issues selecting in the teams remaining fixtures after such a solid performance and Ben Rockey who come on the pitch and played around forty minutes won man of the match from the rest of the team in that time. Unfortunately Ben then had to come off with suspected HIA. Both players have a very exciting future ahead.
Kingsbridge’s persistence saw them score another unconverted try before the end of the first half. The score at half-time 14 – 10 to Newton Abbot.
We never seemed to find our feet after that, we are our own enemies at times, discipline has been an issue for us all season and something we will continue to work on and fix for the remaining fixtures. The second half was nail-biting. Kingsbridge lost their Scrumhalf through a dislocated shoulder and another from a yellow card.
They still managed to score two unconverted tries in the half and Jack missed the conversion for Jake Bury’s try and pushed a long-range penalty attempt past the post, the score sitting at 19 -20 to Kingsbridge.
The second half was still playing after 90+ minutes on a running clock. The ref must have been enjoying his day at Rackerhayes. On the 86th minute (actual time). Jake Monnington ran through the defence and dummied the fullback and scored under the post in front of all the past players and the home crowd. Of course only to find out later in the bar how much better all these past players were. Jack converted the try to see the final score. 26 -20 to the All Whites.
We have now played all of our home games and only have Wiveliscombe away this weekend, followed by a rest week then our final league game at Paignton on the 23rd of April.
I doubt that we will lose our second-place spot and look forward to a Home Devon Intermediate Cup Final on the 30th. Which will make for a great end of the season.
It was Fred Christophers 81st Birthday on Saturday and Player of the Day Jake Monnington presented a shirt in memory of Duncan Christophers with his name and number on it. Christophers’ Family Funerals also sponsored the game.