Newport
2007/2008 Principality Premiership
Newport 19 v 14 Cross Keys
22 December 2007 - Rodney Parade, Newport
Cross Keys

Match Report

Newport 19 Cross Keys 14 (HT: 12-14)

Newport just held off a determined 14 man Cross Keys team with a  very poor performance. Once again they struggled showing poor decision making and often a complete lack of direction. Many could not believe that when Newport were awarded a penalty just outside the 22 on the stroke of time, that instead of going for goal to deny Keys a losing bonus point, skipper Dai Pattison instructed the ball to be kicked to touch.

Cross Keys scrum-half Owen Jones, the former Newport and Pontypool player was red carded by referee Neil Ballard for punching and stamping on 21 mins, but it was Keys who then took control of the game with their pack outshining the Newport 8 with hooker Lloyd Burns to the fore. First half yellow cards followed for KeysplayersBridges and Watkins and for Newport’s Craig Hill. Despite being down to 13 men for a period it was Cross Keys who led 14-12 at HT with all their points coming from full back Leon Andrews. He opened the scoring on 8 mins with a well-worked try helped by poor Newport tackling. Jones took a quick tap penalty and put Burns into the 22 to find centre Dan Dark who off-loaded to Andrews to cross. Newport came into the game and pressure forced a yellow for Bridges for taking out fly-half Dan Griffiths after a chip through. Owen Jones was then red-carded on 21 mins.. A score was inevitable with Keys down to 13 men and it came from lively scrum-half Alex Walker, who showed pace and drive to get over from a 5 metre scrum on 22 mins. Andrews regained the lead for Keys with a penalty on 24 mins. Bridges returned only for captain Ben Watkins to take his place for killing the ball in the 22. Once again Newport scored with a two-man advantage and once again it was Walker making the most of an overlap on 33 min to put the Black and Ambers back in front. Burns and Bridges worked hard and some astute kicking from fly-half Scott Sneddon put them on the front foot. Andrews made the most of that with two penalties with Newport’s Hill getting a yellow some 40 yds out on the 5th min of added 1st half time for hands in the ruck referee Ballard tried to even the numbers.

Keys started the 2nd half in determined fashion often dominating possession and territory but on 65 mins they missed touch with a clearance as replacement outside-half James Dixon ran back a Sneddon kick to set up hooker Andrew Brown to dummy from the base of a ruck 20 yds out and scamper over. Keys didn’t give up and camped in Newport’s half. Sneddon struck the right post with a drop goal on 64mins and Keys continued to blast away at the Newport line having a chance with a  line 5 metre out only for Burns  to throw crooked. Deep into added on time Newport spurned a chance of a kick at goal and stumbled to a completely unconvincing g win over their Gwent neighbours.   

                                                                                                               

Official : Neil Ballard (Wales)

Newport Cross Keys
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