The Blues welcomed Newman to Sanditon Way and the new Field of Dreams on a windy chilly Wednesday afternoon.
The Home side won the toss and played down hill with the wind in the first half and made early inroads into the visitors territory. Quick moment of the ball and hard running allowed the Blues to gain ground and challenge the Newman defence. Hulley it was that eventually went over to get the first five points of the day. 5-0 Blues.
More pressure from the home side and a poor kick chase from CN allowed Hulley again to run in unopposed from 50m Sanderson added the extras and it was 12-0.
CN then took advantage of mistakes in the Worthing half and scored a well worked try 12-5 Blues.
The game ebbed and flowed with neither side gaining the upper hand but it was Worthing that went over with their third of the day that was converted to make it 17-5 seemingly going into the half. However the determined and well drilled Newman team knocked, knocked and knocked again at the Worthing door, each time repelled until the CN right wing beat three players and dived in just to the left of the uprights. A very good score bringing the game to 17-12 at the half.
Worthing faced a tough task working up hill and into the wind in the second period and this showed as CN brought plenty of pressure with the ball and a strong kicking game. The home side were stoic in their defence and a stalemate ensued, CN would get close, get repelled, Worthing would exit, CN would get close and so it continued throughout the second half.
The home side broke the deadlock with a snipe from close to the CN line from Bradford. Sanderson converted and it was 24-12 with 8mins to play.
The tenacious CN team would not lay down and continued to pressure scoring with just 2mins left on the clock. 24-17 Blues.
Worthing tried to maintain the ball from a turnover but conceded a penalty and it was CN with the chance of a C&D line out in the Worthing 22m. It was again defended well by the blues and the game was brought to a close Worthing 24-17 Newman.
Both teams had periods of heroic defence and exciting attack. The Referee Dave Sainsbury again called the game with empathy and sympathy which allowed both sides to play in sometimes tricky conditions. As both coaches agreed post match it was a great contest and both sides were left battered, bruised and tired but excited about the return fixture in the new year.
Tries: Tozer, Hulley 2, Bradford
Cons: Sanderson 2
MoM: Ethan Thomas- great scrummaging, ball carrying and defensive effort.