A TRIUMPH FOR PERSISTENCE
Southwell, never gave up and defended grittily
Saturday 8 December
Midlands Two East North
Newark 20 Southwell 6
Newark produced a determined second-half effort to win a Nottinghamshire derby played amid driving rain and wind at Kelham Road.
A big crowd (estimated around 500) watched Newark overhaul a 6-5 half-time deficit to run out winners by three tries to nil – the scores coming from prop Mason Coulam, wing Billy Charles and hooker Jed Chapple.
It was a triumph for persistence after a nervous start had helped give Southwell the lead through two penalty goals from fly half Paul Rich.
Newark should have scored in the opening minute but were either held up or dropped a few crucial passes before the rain and wind started to sweep across the ground.
After Rich had landed a penalty from near the halfway line, Newark produced their best attack just before half-time.
The move was triggered by Aloesi Waqalevu – called out of ‘retirement’ for the match alongside ex-captain Matt Clark - made space outwide for a run from full-back Robbie Hunter-Shaw.
The attack ended in Coulam claiming the try amid a pile of bodies. Hunter-Shaw failed to kick the conversion but the try had given Newark some reward for their growing dominance.
That dominance continued after half-time. As the rain became more intense, Newark refused to be blown off course. Hunter-Shaw added a penalty to put the home team in front at 8-6.
Newark then endured a frustrating spell as several players were held up. Will Ellison, Dave Garland, Jordan Slack and Rory Williams all went close but each time referee Scott signalled they had been held up.
The siege eventually brought the second try though not through grinding forward play. Instead, captain Will Britten gambled on a cross kick to the unmarked wing Charles who caught the slippery ball before touching down.
The score in the 61st minute brought the biggest cheer of the afternoon and it was followed 10 minutes later when Newark’s forward muscle brought a third try this time from hooker Chapple. Hunter-Shaw converted to increase the home lead.
For Newark, this was a first league win at Kelham Road over Southwell since their county rivals were promoted three seasons ago.
However, Southwell, who never gave up and defended grittily, lead 3-2 in the series.
The return match for 2018-19 at Park Lane is on March 30.
Newark: Hunter-Shaw; Charles, Waqalevu, Britten (capt), Pauvert; Jordan Slack, Clark; Coulam, Chapple, Appleton, Ellison, Williams, Brogden, Duncan, Garland.
Subs: Himsworth, Seage, Overland.
Tries: Coulam, Charles, Chapple.
Penalty goal: Hunter-Shaw.
Southwell: Broughton; Dahle, Stanford, Musgrove, Silcock; Paul, Richards; Beastall, Gill, Cureton, Barker (capt), Ferguson, Ward, Hart, Walker. Subs: Derham, Shearwood, Barry
Pens goals: Rich (2).
Referee: Ben Scott (NLD).
Congratulations to prop Fran Appleton who showed the way for the Newark pack.
He’s pictured alongside match-day sponsors Dan and David Godfrey of Wendgreen. Thank you for your support.
The pre-match lunch also raised money for Beaumond House Hospice through a raffle.
Thank you to all guests who contributed.
Next League Match
Next Saturday (Dec 15) Newark travel to Ashbourne, kick off 2.15pm, for their last game before the Christmas break.
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