Sandbach made one of their shortest away trips when they travelled to Newport at the weekend. The squad was unchanged from last weeks conquest against South Leicester, but failed to carry over the previous weeks form as the travelling side came out looking very sluggish. Newport on the other hand came out with all guns blazing, backed up with two new debutant's who were keen to lead the way, as they pounced on Sandbach's mistakes. Within 10 minutes the home team were 10-0 up thank to a converted try and penalty.
Sandbach had to re-group and re-group quickly they did, as the home teams sting began fade and the Bradwall Road boys were able to put their stamp on the game. Josh Longson went over for his first try of the season after the home team were pulled from one side of the pitch from the other. Ben Elliott converted, shortly before Rich Murray found space on the left wing to beat his man, cut inside and drag three men over the line with him. Elliott was less successful with the follow up. The Sandbach forwards were starting to get on top of their opposite men, taking small steps in the scrum and re-establishing the rolling maul, which ultimately lead to Ally Burton crossing over after the pack drove home from the twenty two. Elliott followed up with the conversion and added three more points before the break.
Going in 22-10 at the break the travelling support may have anticipated more of the same in the second period. But the hosts had different ideas, as they made use of the sloping pitch and the visitors' hooker Tom Herd and inside centre Simon Verbickas leaving the pitch with injuries and Ally Burton with a stomach upset. A cleverly worked line out move allowed them to cross over for their second converted try, quickly follwed by another three from the boot. Both teams continued to attack freely, as the visitors went looking for a bonus point and the home team looked to turn the game on its head. Elliott opened the scores to 25-20, with another penalty- but a chaotic last ten minutes saw Sandbach camped on their own line, as the home turn tried every trick in the book to cross the white wash. The green army held strong though and were able to repel everything that was thrown at them, only losing Chris Davenport to the bin in the process.
Although not the best performance of the season, this was always going to be a hard place to go to and get points. Shear grit and determination got the away team through, although it was not as clinical as the previous week. Next week see's Sandbach hosts unbeaten league leaders Sutton Coldfield at Bradwall Road for looks to be a great spectacle as first take on third in National 3 Midlands.