Novos grind out victory over Guisborough
By Chris Ward
This week's match report detailing Novos' triumph over Guisborough, is written by ex-NOVO magazine Editor-in-chief, Tommy Bilclough.
To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Henry V; ‘When the blast of the Spaniard’s whistle blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger, stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair natured Novocastrian with hard-favour’d rage…’ As a team on Saturday, the Novos lads epitomised ‘the action of the tiger’ – on the pitch, there was a tangible energy of positivity and self-belief which translated into a very clinical performance. Every player in the 18-man squad rose to the challenge that Guisborough presented – the visitors were certainly favourites in light of our encounters over the past couple of seasons.
Novos started the game as they meant to go on with quick and expansive offensive pressure in the first few minutes - powerful carries from Nashy and Brendan Thomas (who was man of the match, by the way), forced a couple of early penalties. Guisborough, also, posed some serious threats. In particular, their tight head prop, before he was sent off, made some menacing breaks and set up their first try. Our opening score was finished off superbly by ex-colt Cameron Spencer. After a darting run by the ever-threatening Sam Busby, Cam burnt past three or four defenders to open up the scoring for the day.
Greg Humphreyson’s kicking also deserves a special mention in this week’s report – for the right reasons… Though he was disappointed with his success rate off the tee against Hartlepool, he thoroughly atoned against Guisborough by slotting 6/7. Included in that total was a conversion to one of his own scores; after a period of immense pressure from Guisborough early on in the second half (scoring a very quick try after the break), Greg spotted a gap and darted through two defenders from ten metres out to score under the sticks. Quickly afterwards, Martin Fearon finished off a lovely try in a run that Chris Robshaw would have been proud of.
With ten minutes to go, Novos had an offensive lineout in the opposition 22 which led to a period of prolonged attack. Eventually, we passed the ball along the line (and we left them stannin’) - Chris Ward found himself in the right place at the right time on the left wing to run over for his second try in three weeks. It was not the only time that we have seen that man streak up the left wing of a rugby pitch…
The victory on Saturday reflects a period of intense energy within the squad, and gives a platform from which to base the next few performances.