Newark recorded a second bonus point win
Newark defended and scrummage strongly
Saturday 15 September
Midlands Two East North
Dronfield 17 Newark 25
Newark recorded a second bonus point win of the new season to maintain momentum at the top of Midlands Two East North.
Wings Billy Charles and Josh Watts scored first-half tries alongside a score from flanker James Brogden to help Newark to a 17-5 interval lead.
The fourth try came in the second half from lock Will Ellison to keep Dronfield at bay. Matt Cox kicked a conversion and penalty.
While Newark started the same back line as the previous week against Ashby, the pack showed four changes at hooker in Gareth Bartsch, prop Jason Hempstead, lock Jason Matthysz and flanker Max Spurr.
Newark faced a stiff breeze and the slope, but despite this started strongly as they did last week in beating Ashby.
And after five minutes following some good driving play the industrious Findlay Tweedie at scrum-half chipped over the Dronfield defence for Charles to race through for the first try.
An almost identical play from Tweedie a couple of minutes later saw Charles just fail to control the bouncing ball and Dronfield were able to clear their lines.
The match became more attrition as Dronfield worked their way into the game, but the Newark defence stood up well with the back row of Spurr, Brogden and David Garland to the fore.
After 20 minutes and following a melee on the Newark 22, fly half Cox and the Dronfield blind side flanker received yellow cards.
Full-back Robbie Hunter-Shaw relieved the pressure with a superb kick which took Newark to the Dronfield 22.
Dronfield managed to retain the line out and clear to the half way line but Newark came back at them with ball in hand.
Mason Coulam first and then the impressive Garland made good ground and got the ball to the pacey Josh Watts out wide. He was brought down just short of the line but was able to off load to the ever present Brogden to score.
Another sweeping move from Newark saw them make ground from the half way line through Ellison, Garland and Tweedie before the move was finished off by Watts out wide.
Towards half-time Coulam received a yellow card for slowing the ball and Newark brought on replacement prop Haydn Godfrey. The pack continued to scrummage solidly against the weightier Dronfield forwards.
Dronfield got on the score board just before half -time with a converted try scored by their centre. 7-15
Dronfield added a penalty early in the second half to make it 10-15, but Newark dug deep winning a penalty on the half way line.
Cox put the ball deep into the Dronfield 22 and the impressive Newark line out secured good driving ball which resulted in Ellison crashing over. Cox converted to make it 10-22.
Newark continued to defend strongly and their defensive pressure forced Dronfield to concede a penalty for a swinging arm. Cox converted to put Newark in a strong position going into the last 20.
The game management and set piece was impressive as Newark closed the game out. They continued to defend and scrummage strongly keeping Dronfield out until the very last minute when they went over in the corner for a converted try but by then the game was Newark’s.
Ps: congratulations to Haydn Godfrey for making 1st team league debut. Reward for some hard graft...
Team v Dronfield: Hunter-Shaw; Watts, Birch, Britten, Charles; Cox, Tweedie; Coulam, Bartsch, Hempstead, Matthysz, Ellison, Brogden, Spurr, Garland. Subs: Henderson, Shine, Godfrey.
Tries: Charles, Watts, Brogden, Ellison.
Penalty goal: Cox.
Next Saturday – no first team game next Saturday (Sept 22) – bye in first round of RFU Intermediate Cup.
Next league game – Saturday Sept 29 – Newark v Ilkeston, ko 3pm.
Opening of new clubhouse at 2.30pm.
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