NEWPORT pulled off a remarkable victory in adversity last night over Neath at The Gnoll after having lock Adam Brown sent off in the 32nd min, writes Tony Poole.
Brown, who was initially yellow-carded in the 14th min for ball-killing, then saw red for a similar offence. Prop Gethin Robinson was also binned during a stop-start half that saw the Blacks lead 15-3 at the break. But the Black and Ambers hit back in determined style to gain a second successive Gnoll victory – and cement a secure mid-table slot. It took just 50 secs for Neath to open their account, ex-Newbridge centre Arron Pinches breaking and wing Bowdy Davies claiming an unconverted try. Former Newport flanker Gareth Gravell scored a close-range try in the 13th minute against 14 men – and repeated the feat eight minutes with Newport down to 13.
Penalties either side of half time from full-back Geraint O’Driscoll penalty in the 39th min gave Newport hope. And they were right back in it on 47 mins when wing Elliot Frewen sprinted clear to claim a 27th league try that O’Driscoll goaled. And the 14 men shook The Gnoll when full-back O’Driscoll landed another penalty in the 52nd minute to give them the lead, 16-15. Five mins later, a fourth O’Driscoll penalty enhanced the lead ahead of a lengthy stoppage caused by an injury to Neath fly-half Dai Langdon. The Black and Ambers then showed true grit, crowning an amazing comeback with an 80th-min try at the posts from fly-half Ethan Davies that O’Driscoll converted.
Neath: Tries – G Gravell (2), B Davies
Newport: Tries – E Frewen, E Davies; Cons: G O’Driscoll (2); Pens: G O’Driscoll (4)Newport MOM : Adam Frampton