They owed much to the inspiration of Chris Taylor, who has many years’ experience of playing at the top level, notably for City of Bristol. He scored nine of his team’s goals – just enough to ensure both points as Sheffield hit back from 11-7 down early in the last quarter to level at 12-12 thanks to a Nick Daly penalty with 1.16 to go.
The winner, with 57 seconds remaining, was scored for Newport by Matt Veale.
Later, Newport completed a second win - 17-9 against Watford Saxons. This time, Taylor scored eight, well supported by four-goal James Farror.
Chester, the other BWPL newcomers, followed the example of Newport, with a thrilling single-goal victory - 15-14 against Leeds. Quinn Walker's fourth goal put Leeds 11-7 ahead at one stage and they advanced to 14-12 early in the final period. Then Paul Williams took charge for Chester, scoring three of his seven goals - the winner, with 49 seconds remaining on the clock.
Chelmsford recovered from 3-1 down after the first quarter to beat Watford Saxons 12-10. Ben Chapman and Josh Mills both scored hat-tricks for the winners; Watford hat-tricks were claimed by Sam Parry and Ben Simkins.
Photos (Trevor Hyde): Top: Sheffield's Arshia Kayghobadi prepares to shoot against Newport. Below: Watford’s George Sadler blocks a shot by Adam Lecomber, of Chelmsford.