NEWENT were unable to pierce the Royal Wooton Bassett defence for the fourth time and secure a place in the semi-final of the Papa John’s Community Cup.

The Green Army started strongly, applying pressure in Wooton territory and being awarded a penalty, writes Frank Bowe.

Newent’s front row of Woodman, Tanner and Emery asserted their authority and were awarded a penalty which led to good field position and another penalty for a high tackle.

From the line out, some eight metres out, the pack drove and Emery got the touch down, although Tom Webb’s conversion was wide.

When the Wiltshire side were penalised for another high tackle, Webb made no mistake for 8-0 though.

Wooton reduced the deficit with an unconverted try but Newent retaliated in style.

A good run from Dan Fletcher, playing in the centre as opposed to wing, took the ball close to the visitors’ line and following an infringement at the ruck, Webb took a quick tap, for Fletcher to score.

Webb made no mistake with the conversion for a half-time score of 15-5.

Strong defences thwarted attacks but two tries for Wooton put them in front for the fist time at 15-19.

A third try made it 15-26 and Sam Baker extended the lead to 14 points with a drop goal from 35 metres.

Newent came back though and were awarded a scrum penalty, and after a quick tap was taken, player-coach Will Tanner scored near the posts and Webb converted for 26-29.

With a few minutes remaining on the clock, another Wooton player went to the bin for a high tackle.

Newent, now with a one-man advantage, could make the last four if they could get one more try which have given them the losers’ bonus and the four-try extras.

But it was not to be and Newent finished second in the table, a point adrift of the Wiltshire side and ahead of Winchester and Chippenham.

It could be argued that last week’s victory was due to successful kicking and this week’s defeat was due to missed tackling, writes Frank Bowe.

It has to be said however that the visitor’s Mike Clifton was by far the best winger we have seen at the Rec this season.

Being big, powerful and fast he was a difficult man to tackle and probably made the difference between the two teams.