WANDERERS WILT AT A WET WELFARE GROUND
On a wet afternoon in Newbridge the Wanderers supporters were given very little to cheer about as Newbridge ran out comfortable winners.
“Disappointing that we made so many unforced errors, our handling let us down far too often” said a disappointed coach Matthew Bolton.
“When we had chances far too often we took poor options” added captain Lee Highgate “We only have ourselves to blame”.
On a day that the kickers were to find very difficult both sides had early penalty chances but on each occasion the kicks went wide. Both sides showed a willingness to run the ball if allowed but the defences were on top as all attacks were easily snuffed out. After a quarter of an hour the home side broke the deadlock. A series of penalties gave Newbridge good field position and from a lineout on the visitors 22 they organised a tremendous drive that resulted in Ross Coombs crashing over for an unconverted try. The Wanderers had a chance to get straight back into the game but another Scott Sneddon chance went wide. The visitors had their fair share of possession and territory but far too frequently poor handling or pointless kicking away of the ball allowed Newbridge to look very comfortable in defence. After 30 minutes the home side extended their lead. A move out wide was neatly chipped over the top. The visitors defence were caught napping and wing Trevor James raced away to score 10-0. At last the Wanderers began to exert some pressure and establishing a foothold in the home side 22 they embarked on a series of forward drives. Several phases of close quarter driving eventually provided the chance and last years youth captain Dan Crimmins drove over to score. Sneddon converted and the Wanderers were back in it at 10-7. The visitors finished the half with their tails up and they started to look threatening but on the stroke of the break a promising attack was intercepted inside the home side 22 by wing David James and he raced away to score under the posts. Trevor James converted and the sides went into the changing rooms at 17-7.
The halftime break saw a massive deterioration in the weather as the loyal supporters were sent scurrying for shelter. As the ball became wetter and wetter the Wanderers handling got worse and worse. Newbridge controlled the ball and played the conditions very well as their strangle hold on the game tightened. The visitors found it difficult to break out of defence with kicks missing touch and finding eager home side players keen to run the ball back. As the defence became more difficult penalties became plentiful and it was no surprise when Nick Hampson was sent to the bin for 10 minutes. With the advantage of an extra forward the home side made it count. Powering into the Wanderers 22 they piled on the pressure. A series of scrums and penalties resulted in an inevitable penalty try with the visitor’s scrum retreating at a rate of knots. James converted and from 24-7 there was to be no comeback for the Wanderers. As the game entered its final minutes the visitors did have a couple of opportunities but as had plagued hem the whole game poor handling or kicking away possession were to let them down. Newbridge finally running out convincing winners 24-7.