Regional 2 Midlands West

Newent 1st XV 48 Ludlow 26

NEWENT RFC and Ludlow served up entertaining end-of-season fare for a large crowd at the Stade de Rec, in a game on which Storm Kathleen exercised a strong influence as she blew hard straight down the pitch from May Hill, reports SIMON BARKER

Newent had the wind at their backs in the first half and took full advantage, racing to a 33-0 lead with five tries within the first 25 minutes.

Ben Vincent was in support of fellow back rower Jack Devries’ strong carry to touch down after just two minutes.

Newent won their last game of the season to finish third
Newent won their last game of the season to finish third (Georgina Gardner)

Devries then claimed the next try himself, touching down in the right-hand corner to complete a fast-flowing move which stemmed from a turnover on the Ludlow 10m line.

Tom Webb converted from the touchline, as he did for the third try scored in the same corner by Doug Long to finish another attack featuring crisp handling, with Dan Fletcher coming off the left-wing to make the key line break.

A turnover by Ben Vincent on Newent’s 22 was the platform for another superb counter-attack which ended with the referee awarding a penalty try when James Hartland’s run for the line was thwarted by a high tackle.

But Hartland got his try when he intercepted a pass just inside the Ludlow half and ran clear to touch down.

But Ludlow had the last word of the half, as Owen Jones stretched to touchdown for 33-5 after a strong carry from his fellow centre Jack Davies.

After the break, some deft offloading gave hard-carrying No8 Ben Black a touchdown, Jack Lines converting for 33-12.

Newent won their last game of the season to finish third
Newent won their last game of the season to finish third (Georgina Gardner)

Newent responded with an unconverted try from a driving maul by Leo Oakey.

But two penalties in quick succession, the second 5m out, then saw Newent’s loosehead Dave Boon yellow-carded.

Opposite number Ben Chamberlin tapped and drove over for Ludlow’s third try, converted by Lines.

And the visitors reduced the deficit further with their bonus point try when their pack drove over from a lineout, Ben Chamberlin touching down and Lines’ conversion making it 38-26 with 15 minutes

to play.

Their nerves were calmed when Tom Webb kicked a penalty for 41-26, before Doug Long launched a length of the field counter-attack which ended with Jack Devries stopped just short in Cauldron Corner.

Ludlow openside Charlie Doyle was then sin-binned, before a quick Webb tap penalty saw him dart through and feed James Hartland for another touchdown, with the former's conversion of Newent’s seventh try was the final act of the game, cementing the Green Army’s third place finish.