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Newport End Losing Streak

Newport End Losing Streak

The final Celtic League pool matches produced some surprising results.

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Newport ended their losing run in style, recording a 24-8 Celtic League win over Scottish new boys Borders.

Jason Strange scored three frist half penalty goals to give Newport a 9-8 lead at the break. Second-half tries to young centre Hal Luscombe and former England international backrower Steve Ojomoh gave 5,500 fans at Rodney Parade plenty to cheer about after a disappointing run of 11 straight losses.

At the Brewery Field, some magic from Leinster star Brian O’Driscoll put paid to Bridgend’s hopes.

The home side were leading 18-13 in the 57th minute when impressive flanker Richard Bryan was sent to the bin for a yellow card. When he returned 10 minutes later, the scoreboard read 18-34 and the match was over as a contest.

The highlight was O’Driscoll’s try from 45 metres out, with the Ireland international gliding through the smallest of holes and scoring without a hand laid on him.

To rub salt into Bridgend’s wounds, winger Denis Hickie scored in injury time to give his side a 34-18 victory.

Acting Bridgend skipper Dafydd James put the disappointment of missing the Wales national squad with a well-taken brace of tries in the opening half.

At St Helens, Swansea began clawing some respectability out of the season with a 33-20 win over Ebbw Vale.

Ill-discipline proved a crucial factor. Wales international prop Ben Evans was yellow-carded for dangerous play in a lineout and Ebbw Vale took quick advantage with tries to fullback Richard Davies and centre Nick Wakeley.

Early in the second half, it was the home side’s turn to play 14 men, with Ebbw Vale No 8 Will Thomas seeing yellow, and Swansea capitalised with good tries to young centre Matthew Brayley and Australian lock Andrew Farley to regain the lead at 21-15.

Two dropped goals from diminutive fly-half Arwel Thomas kept Swansea’s noses in front till the final whistle.

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