Victory by seven tries to four
Newark to showed their best form
Saturday April 21
Midlands Two East North
Newark posted their first league win since the end of January in a hectic match at Kelham Road.
Victory by seven tries to four puts Newark a point behind fourth-placed Dronfield with one match to play next Saturday at Casuals (3pm kick off).
It was a fitting performance to mark the farewell home appearances for two club favourites in Aloesi Waqalevu and Matt Clark.
These long-serving players say they will be stepping down from first team action next season and they led the way like they have done many times over the past decade and more.
Waqalevu (Buddha to all) scored two tries and was a constant threat. Clark, who started at fly half rather than his usual No 9 spot, revelled in the drier conditions which allowed Newark to show their best form since beating Loughborough at the end of the January.
Newark should have scored in the second minute but the move broke down on the left and it was Dronfield who struck first to lead 7-0.
However, Newark quickly levelled through flanker Max Spurr and were 21-14 ahead at the interval, Waqalevu and Robbie Hunter-Shaw having scored to highlight the speedy work of the home backs.
Newark made certain of victory in a dominant start to the second half when Waqalevu’s chip fell perfectly into the path of centre Will Britten.
A second try each for Waqalevu and Hunter-Shaw stretched Newark’s lead to 33-14 before Dronfield grabbed two tries to earn themselves a bonus point.
Fittingly, to mark Newark’s last home game, wing Billy Charles rounded off the campaign by racing from near halfway to win a kick and chase.
Newark team: Britten; Hunter-Shaw, Waqalevu, Birch, Charles; Clark, Max Chapple; Coulam, Jed Chapple, Hempstead, Boyd, Akaash Bagga, Spurr, Crosby, Garland (capt). Subs: Himsworth, Matthysz, Tweedie.
Tries: Spurr, Waqalevu (2), Hunter-Shaw (2), Britten, Charles. Conversions: Hunter-Shaw (4).
Congratulations to Dave Shiels who was voted supporters’ player-of-the-year. Dave received his award of a case of beer from president Alan Swain afterwards.
Dave, who intends to stand down from first team rugby at the end of the season, is in line to play his final 1st XV game next Saturday, at Casuals.
Further photos can be found at the following links