TEENAGER Harry Tovey made an assured debut as Newent beat Worcester at The Rec in Midlands Two West.

Newent upped their game in the second half to distance themselves from a Worcester side whose big pack caused problems at the set pieces but were short on creativity and conceded multiple penalties, writes Simon Barker.   

Coach Sam Goatley was pleased with his side’s “mature” performance in the second half and praised a composed display from 17-year-old Harry Tovey on his first start at fly half.   

Newent got off to a flying start with a try inside two minutes. A quick Josh Preston tap penalty found James Hartland who was stopped just short of the line. 

The offload didn’t go to hand but Jack Devries was quickest to the loose ball and stretched to touch down. Jacob Ivell’s conversion was ruled wide.

But with little pace to their play, Newent struggled for good quality set piece possession.  

Newent opted to go for the corner from a penalty in front of the posts on Worcester’s 22, but then went for the posts from another penalty at least 15m further back – Ivell’s kick was off target.     

Penalties put Worcester in the home 22 for a prolonged period and they were held up over the line on one occasion, but the Newent defence held firm. 

The deficit was reduced by a three-pointer after a penalty was reversed following some afters from Newent.  

A counter-attack led by Alfie Larcombe was taken on by Jordan Devries, who was stopped just short at the cost of a penalty.  Newent opted to go for goal when Worcester were penalised again but Tovey was off target.  Will Hartland ran back the 22m drop out to set up a ruck which saw yet another penalty against Worcester.  The referee yellow carded O’Hagan and, in the last act of a scrappy half, Tovey made it 8-3.

Newent started the second half with much more energy and James Hartland made a great run which was stopped 5m short.  Worcester infringed again in the tackle area and Matt Henry took the tap and drove low through four tacklers to touch down. Tovey made it 15-3.  

A strong carry by Jack Devries from an under-pressure scrum on the home 22 was taken on by Will Hartland. Worcester infringed again at the breakdown and Tovey kicked the goal.  

Newent ran the next penalty and a sweeping attack ended with Jack Devries touching down in the right-hand corner, but the final pass was ruled forward.  Another multi-phased attack drew a further penalty opportunity for Tovey for 21-3.  

The hosts were pressured into conceding penalties in their 22 with Worcester opting to scrum but it backfired when they were penalised at a reset, allowing Newent to relieve the pressure.  

With the game into stoppage time, another penalty gave Newent a line-out just outside the 22.  

Ivell hit at pace and broke tackles before touching down near the posts – making for an easier conversion for Tovey, who landed his fifth successful kick to round off an assured display at outside half.