Newark into fourth place
Newark won through a scrappy derby game
Saturday November 25
Midlands Two North East
Newark won through a scrappy derby game in cold conditions at Park Lane to avenge their defeat there last season. Both sides were without key players and this contributed to an often disjointed match. Wing Alex Henderson had an afternoon to remember, scoring two tries on his debut and a third came from Matt Clark.
Here Andrew Fearn gives a close up of the win which lifts Newark into fourth place five points behind leaders West Bridgford.
After an early exchange of penalties, Southwell gradually built an ascendency and had a chance to go into the lead with a penalty 35 metres out in front of the posts. This was missed and Newark fought their way back led by a spirited run by Will Britten on the left.
Newark won a scrum deep in Southwell territory and, once again, Britten broke through the middle and right winger Alex Henderson was set free to score a try on his debut for the 1st XV. The score which was against the run of play, was not converted.
Southwell broke back and, within minutes, earned themselves a penalty in front of the posts which was duly converted; 3-5. This was followed by a similar opportunity for Newark but the kick was pulled wide.
Once again Newark settled themselves deep in the opposition 22 and Tom Coen won the line-out on the left. The forwards recycled the ball and left Matthew Clarke to wriggle under the posts for a second try. Alex Scott converted and Newark led 3-12.
Newark were now going through their best period of the game and looked in control. Once again they attacked through the forwards and good hands in the backs gave Henderson the opportunity to add to his debut try. The conversion was missed but Newark had established a clear lead; 3-17.
To their credit, Southwell came back strongly and put Newark under intense pressure on their line. Southwell were awarded a penalty in front of the posts but, inexplicably, chose to run it instead of taking the points.
Newark resisted strongly and Southwell attempted a wayward dropped goal. Newark were able to clear their lines but not before Max Spurr had earned himself a yellow card for an offence on his line. Half time came as a relief to the Newark defence.
The second period started as the first had finished with intense pressure from the home side and Newark had to resist strong forward pressure on their line.
Eventually, playing with a forward short took its toll and Southwell crossed the line with a rolling maul. The conversion was missed but the deficit had been reduced to 8-17.
The home side continued to exert pressure and were awarded another penalty in front of the posts. Once again, the easy kick was declined and the ball run but Newark continued to defend stoutly.
Southwell poured forward again and managed to cross the line but the referee decided the ball had not been grounded. Newark exerted good pressure to defend the resulting five-metre scrum but Southwell soon had an opportunity to add to their score with a central penalty. This time they elected to kick it and earned themselves a losing bonus point as the score moved to 11-17.
Callum Slack took the field replacing Henderson and the game evolved into a tight midfield struggle with both sides making mistakes as the tension rose towards the end of the game.
To the delight of the Newark contingent, the referee blew the final whistle but both sides will look back on the game and justifiably think that they might have played better.
Newark are at home next Saturday (Dec 2) against Ashbourne, kick off 2.15pm.
Team v Southwell: Scott; Henderson, Mackie, Jordan Slack, Britten; Chapple (capt), Clark; Appleton, Jed Chapple, Shiels, Primett, Spurr, Coulam, Crosby, Coen.
Subs: Dunning, Matthysz, Callum Slack.
Tries: Henderson (2), Clark.
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