SKIPPER Tim Walsh came on as a second-half substitute to drive Blues to a 37-22 win in their opening pre-season friendly at Liberty Way on Sunday.
The Australian fly half sparked Blues into action after they had trailed 22-13 after 55 minutes against National League Two side Nuneaton, scoring 14 points as Newbury's fitness told in the end.
“It was a good work-out for Blues,” said coach Chris Dossett. “We still have a few things to work on and sort out, but there were a lot of good things to come out of the game as well.
“Tim Walsh just took charge of the game when he came on,” he added, “and he really got us going.”
Newbury looked ragged in defence in the first half when Nuns twice cut through to score through centre Will Cave, ex-Blue Howard Graham converting once with Nick Defty's penalty Newbury's sole reply until Chris Morgan touched down after a drive into the corner.
A Graham penalty was followed by a second forwards' try as hooker Andrew Dalgleish was driven over wide out to leave Blues two points adrift at the interval, but beginning to look on top.
Ian Critchley's early converted second half score gave Nuns a nine point lead but that was soon wiped out as Walsh took charge, linking with Mark Simpson-Daniel to score under the posts and convert, before dropping a goal to put Blues ahead for the first time.
Blues' forward power produced a penalty try and conversion and Walsh split the last line for Morgan to go through and claim his second touchdown and Walsh another successful kick to cap a solid start for Newbury.
Newbury Blues: Defty; Hylton, Rees, Turner, Perry; Ashwin, Smaje; Robinson, Campbell, Thompson; Ascroft-Leigh, Doherty; Walters, Morgan, Brown. Subs: Loubser, Perkins, Walsh, Simpson-Daniel, Carter, Irish, Dalgleish, Rainbow.