GMS Player Registration16th October 2023
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Newly re-formed Newton Abbot Veterans made their return to action a winning one when outscoring the home side by six tries to one at Queen’s Park.
Newton created an early opportunity but winger Paul Savva, better known as a barber and a musician, playing his first ever game of rugby, wasn’t able to take the chance.
Paignton’s forwards then took charge for a while but failed to break through some excellent tackling. The deadlock was broken mid-way through the half when strong approach play by the visiting pack coupled with quick hands by the threes put winger Nathan Miller in for a try in the left corner, not just the first score of the match but also Miller’s first ever try for the club.
Newton continued to press but couldn’t put together enough phases and passes until three tries wrapped around the half-time break swung the game in favour of the visitors.
Full-back Paul Hooper scored in the right corner after coming into the line and taking a well-timed pass from his fly-half Steve Loder.
Loder just failed with both of the difficult conversions, the second miss signalling the end of the first half which saw Newton leading 10-nil.
Newton started the second half with 14 points in five minutes. Flanker Lee Williams caught the restart hick-off and made ground before passing to second-rower Paul Warren who galloped in from 40 metres.
The subsequent restart was also run straight back; Loder broke through the middle, with support on each side he chose the inside option to send Hooper scampering in for his second. Loder converted both tries to give his side a 24-0 lead.
Paignton clawed points back with a lineout catch and drive try before Newton rounded off with two more tries.
A break by hooker Rich England paved the way for a try by replacement winger Lee Nathan-Bailey who then doubled his tally when put away down the wing from a three-quarter move. Joe Burford added a conversion.
England and Warren, who were the instigators and organisers of the Vets revival were very pleased with the outcome, the former saying “From a provisional list of 35 we had a match-day squad of 19, which was excellent. We are hoping to play a return fixture with Paignton at Rackerhayes during the Six Nations tournament. We will then be aiming to play a maximum of six games a year; today’s outing was a great start that we can build on”.