A much changed side!
Much of the early part of the game was a midfield ‘arm-wrestle’
Saturday January 13
Midlands Two East North
A brief second-half revival lifted Newark hopes of gaining points from the visit of Lincoln, but our local rivals ended up good winners to become only the second away club to win a league game at Kelham Road this season.
Despite the defeat, Newark remain second in the league still 10 points behind leaders West Bridgford who had their match at home to Bakewell postponed. Third-placed Matlock, who are two points behind Newark, drew 20-20 at home to Loughborough. Fourth-placed Dronfield won 41-31 at Southwell.
Here Andrew Fearn reports on the Notts-Lincs match up at Kelham Road….
Newark went into the local derby against Lincoln with a much changed side and were further disrupted by the late withdrawal of Jed Chapple due to injury.
This followed the injuries picked up in the win at Ilkeston which put Tom Coen and Dave Shiels on the sidelines. Gareth Bartsch stepped up from the bench for the visit of Lincoln and third teamer Joe Tinsley, stood by as a replacement.
Much of the early part of the game was a midfield ‘arm-wrestle’ with neither side establishing the upper hand. However, that changed in the 14th minute when Lincoln won the ball on the Newark 22 and good handling put them in for a try in the corner. The conversion was missed, the ball hitting the post.
Lincoln started to dominate and were assisted by a number of turnovers in contact by the Newark players. The pressure told and Newark conceded another try at the base of their left hand post. The conversion was kicked and the visitors led by 12 points.
Newark broke back and some strong running from Will Britten put Newark in a position where they were able to win a penalty to the right of the posts. It was easily converted by Alex Scott and Newark reduced the deficit by three points.
Lincoln continued to attack fluently and their approach play was marked by some effective off-loading. This brought another try which was converted to make the score 3-19. Newark were up against it but the score reflected the play and Lincoln’s dominance.
To rub salt into the wound, Aloesi Waqalevu was sin-binned shortly before half-time for a high tackle.
Newark upped their game in the second half and started to exert pressure on the Lincoln defence.
A series of offences on the Lincoln line saw their No 6 sin-binned but Newark were unable to translate their pressure into points and unfortunately all too often allowed the ball to slip from their grip in the tackle.
Newark continued to apply pressure and an attack was thwarted by the outstretched hand of the Lincoln No 7 who followed his colleague to the sin bin. The penalty was kicked by Scott and Newark clawed their way back to 6-19.
Newark thought that they had scored when Mikey Boyd touched down on the right but it was disallowed for a double movement. Max Spurr left the field and was replaced by Tinsley from the adjacent third team game.
Suddenly the tide turned and a Lincoln attack on their left broke down. The ball came to Britten in some space and he outran the cover defence for a splendid individual try. Unfortunately Scott missed the conversion and Newark still needed two scores to win.
To their credit Lincoln stormed back and scored two unconverted tries after heavy pressure on the Newark line during which Scott was also sin-binned. The game ended 11-29 with Lincoln good value for their win.
Newark take to the road next Saturday when they meet Whitchurch, the Shropshire club, in the RFU Intermediate Cup. The tie is a Midlands semi-final and the winners will be two games from a Twickenham appearance, Kick off 2pm.
The next league game is on Saturday Jan 27 when Newark travel to Loughborough, kick off 2.15pm.
Team v Lincoln: Mackie; Britten, Waqalevu, Jordan Slack, Clark; Scott, Max Chapple (capt);Dunning, Bartsch, Hempstead, Boyd, Ellison, Spurr, Crosby, Coulam.
Subs: Tinsley, Appleton, Hunter-Shaw. Try: Britten. Penalty goals: Scott (2).
Sin bins: Waqalevu, Scott.
Photos from the Game are available at the following link