Newent 20 Yarnbury 13
Yarnbury may have tasted defeat on their Twickenham debut but there was no silencing their wonderful spectators.
The Horsforth side took the field to a crescendo of noise as cries of ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire’ and ‘Yarn-bury’ echoed around the magni-ficent stadium for a day of rugby finals.
Eight coachloads of followers made the journey to Twickenham. There seemed to be blue, black and white striped blazers everywhere interspersed with the ‘Green Army’ of Gloucestershire side Newent.
After warm ups and the official photographs outside the Twicken-ham main entrance, the game was played out on an immaculate surface Yarnbury received the kick off and immediately prop Richard Lister caught a boot in the face and was off to the blood bin with Andy Butterfield going on in his place.
The first quarter saw both sides playing with massive commit-ment. Opportunities to run the ball were scarce with Newent covering well defensively while Yarnbury’s tackling was every bit as ferocious as it had been in the semi-final win over Stewarts and Lloyds.
Second row Ian Maycock delighted the Yarnbury faithful with a good burst that was followed by a chip and chase from tireless stand-off Carl Paterson.
Yarnbury were looking to make ground out wide but were well marshalled by the drifting defence of Newent.
The Gloucestershire side, who beat Baildon in the Junior Vase last year, registered the first points when Rob Webb stroked over a penalty.
Yarnbury hit back quickly with Paterson sending a penalty kick sailing between the uprights to make it 3-3.
Yarnbury’s best spell came in the second quarter when they rocked the Newent forwards. Unfortunately they did not take the chances that their pressure created.
Having scorned a penalty kick at goal they went for the corner. They were looking to execute a catch and drive move but for once the Yarnbury line-out faltered.
It was frustrating because for the remainder of the match Maycock at the front and Jimmy Cryan at the tail provided a consistent supply of ball for skipper Oliver Cashman.
Full back Stuart Wilson was tackled short of the line and then made a try-saving tackle at the other end of the field to stop Newent winger Brett Gardner from scoring.
In between penalties were traded by Webb and Paterson. Yarnbury’s was a beauty from the Royal Box’ side of the ground as the sides went in at the break with the scores level at 6-6.
Yarnbury were to rue the missed opportunities in the second half as Newent grabbed two converted tries in ten minutes.
Joe Goatley, Newent’s top scorer, danced over by the posts from 10 metres out and Webb improved with ease.
Then Goatley’s younger brother, Barney, also weaved his way through for a try that extended Newent’s advantage to 14 points with Webb’s conversion.
In the final quarter Yarnbury plugged away for a score and it came in tremendous fashion. Paterson kicked for the corner after Yarnbury were awarded a penalty for Newent killing the ball in the ruck.
Maycock rose to take it at two and the whole pack and James Barrett drove the Newent pack over their own line for the referee to signal a try which delighted the Yarnbury army.
Paterson converted superbly from a wide angle to reduce the deficit for seven points. Sadly for Yarnbury the minutes ticked away on the digital scoreboard.
Newent had won but Yarnbury’s players could hold their heads high. They had done themselves and their club proud on the biggest day in the club’s history.