Newport made the trip over the bridge to Bristol for their second pre-season friendly against Dings Crusaders.
The Black & Ambers returned to Shaftesbury Park in the suburb of Frenchay almost a year to the day since an enthralling 40-33 win in preparation for last season’s Indigo Premiership campaign.
The entertainment of twelve months ago, coupled with glorious sunshine and soaring temperatures, was always going to be difficult to replicate, but even with more tolerable conditions this time around both teams struggled to find their feet in the first half.
With some pre-season cobwebs still to be blown away, chances were few and far for the Crusaders and the B&As. The visitors took almost twenty minutes to even set foot in their opponents’ half, while the hosts were made to pay for some clinical errors of their own. Catch-and-drive opportunities at either end were the closest each side came to a score, while a couple of Carwyn Penny kicks – one cross and one grubber – to Jon Morris were also within touching distance of the endzone.
Neither side converted their chances and the half remained scoreless…
HANNER AMSER: Dings 0-0 B&As
Newport came out of their half-time team-talk the better side and immediately gained some valuable territory. Having camped in the Bristolians’ twenty-two for much of the first few second-half minutes, their efforts eventually prevailed when Henry Palmer broke loose for a maul resulting from a catch-and-drive move and strolled over to open the scoring. Penny added the extras.
That try led to a Dings’ crusade of their own, and less than five minutes later they equalled the score, courtesy of their scrum-half who took advantage of some sleepy defending on the away side’s part.
The Black & Ambers, however, continued to be the better of the two teams during the second forty and deservedly retook the lead shortly before the sixty-minute mark. Following constant pressure in the Dings’ twenty-two, the ball reached Carwyn Penny from a ruck before the summer signing from Cornish Pirates raced into the right-hand corner to cross over for his first five-pointer in his new colours.
Soon after, Newport made it three tries when substitute Jordan Howells tore through the Blue & Black defence before a series of quick-thinking passes eventually landed in Jacob Lloyd’s hands to dive over, much to the delight of the travelling Black & Amber Wall.
Dings replied with a late injury-time converted try to narrow the gap from a quick tap-and-go on the Newport five-metre line, however it proved not to be enough and the Black & Ambers continued their winning pre-season record with another fine win on the road.
SGÔR TERFYNOL: Dings 14-17 B&As
Newport are now two from two at the halfway point in their pre-season campaign, with trips still to come this August to Brecon (Saturday, 2.30pm) and to Surrey to face National League 2 East outfit, Esher (Friday 25th, 7pm).
The Black & Amber Wall were in fine voice as always and we’re looking forward to seeing you all next week at Parc de Pugh in Brecon, where Dale McIntosh’s Championship West outfit will provide Tyron Morris’ men with some tough opposition.
Join us on Saturday and get behind…
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