Newport 6

Glasgow Caley 27

GLASGOW Caledonians coach Richie Dixon hailed the contribution of his unsung journeymen and youngsters after watching his team record the most prestigious vic-tory to date in the Celtic League.

In the wake of a string of disappointing results, the Reds had travelled to Rodney Parade more in hope than expectation. But it turned out not just to be a mere win, but a demolition job into the bargain.

Dixon praised his squad for responding in such a positive manner to the home defeat at the hands of Edinburgh Reivers the previous weekend. He declared: ''That particular experience must have stung the guys more than anyone realised because their determination to make amends was clear to see. We came out 4-0 in the try-count and that was a fair reflection on our display.

''A statistic like that against a team like Newport on their own patch is a tremendous achievement in anyone's book.

''It was a terrific team effort, but I was particularly thrilled for the men in this line-up who had not been hitherto appearing on a regular basis for the side. Rory Kerr looked sharp and hungry in his first outing for a long, long time, and there was also some superb work from Fraser Stott at scrum-half and Gareth Flockhart in the back row.

''It was also tremendously encouraging for Barry Irving to get his name on the scoresheet after replacing Glenn Metcalfe in the second half.''

Dixon added: ''I am hoping we are now back on an even keel and we can certainly look forward to our next trip to Wales for the delayed encounter with Ponty-pridd next week.''

Metcalfe was forced off after taking a painful blow on the mouth, but Dixon is optimistic about his chances of being fit in time for the journey to Sardis Road for the restaging of the match abandoned late last year.

After enjoying an early reprieve when Shane Howarth was off-target with a penalty, the destiny of the points was never really in doubt as the Reds dictated the procedings.The initial breakthrough came after 14 minutes when Kerr chipped ahead and raced for the line with home wing Matt Mostyn.

Mostyn was forced to take the ball over and touch down, but from the ensuing scrum, Stott picked up and slid under the tackle of Peter Buxton for an opportunist score.

Tommy Hayes converted and the lead was certainly no more than the visitors deserved.They continued to dominate, especi-ally in the pack exchanges where Jonny Petrie and Flockhart were to the fore.

Newport, kicking into the wind, managed to peg back the lead by three points when Howarth kicked a penalty, and when James Stuart was penalised for holding on in the tackle, repeated the dose to make it 7-6.

Caley were certainly not put off by the double-whammy and on the half hour James McLaren pounced to finish off a sweet move, with Hayes again converting. Stott broke and released McLaren who surged down the right wing, chipped over Matt Pini, and strolled over.

Even better was to come for the Reds as Jon Stuart claimed another score four minutes later.

From a lineout, the centre powered through three challenges before waltzing over in space.

Caley then enjoyed a let-off as Matthew Watkins reached the target at the other end, only to knock on at the last moment. And Glasgow were celebrating again in 50 minutes when, after some concerted pressure from the back five, Hayes was given enough space in which to take aim and drop a goal to extend the lead to 22-6.

Hayes was also growing in confidence and his kicking to touch and choice of option enabled the Reds to stay in control.

Another fine piece of work from Petrie took Caley deep into Newport territory, but when the target beckoned the visitors were unable to make their numbers count and Newport were off the hook again.

The victory was sealed in 73 minutes when substitute Barry Irving collected a Hayes lob to trot to the line.

It was no more than they deserved and the Reds even had the luxury of making three late replacements as they cantered home without any problem.

Newport - M Pini; M Mostyn, J Jones-Hughes, A Marinos (J Pritchard, 74), M Watkins; S Howarth, D Burn; D Jones (R Snow, 50), J Richards, A Garvey, S Raiwalui ( M Taylor, 62), I Gough, P Buxton, (R Powell,62), A Popham, G Teichmann.

Glasgow Caley - G Metcalfe (B Irving, 50); J McLaren, A Bulloch, J Stuart, R Kerr; T Hayes, F Stott; L Harrison, 72), G Bulloch, G McIlwham, C Stewart, S Griffiths, G Simpson (R Reid, 79), G Flockhart (D McFadyen, 64), J Petrie.

Referee - H Lewis (WRU).

Scoring sequence: (Newport first): 0-7, 3-7, 6-7, 6-14, 6-19 (half-time) 6-22, 6-27.

Scorers: Newport - Penalties - Howarth (24, 28). Glasgow Caledonians - Tries - Stott (14), McLaren (31), Stuart (35), Irving (73). Conversions - Hayes (14, 31). Drop goal - Hayes (50).