A competitive second half
Newark held the upper-hand for much of the contest
Saturday 12 January
Midlands Two East North
Ilkeston 24 Newark 24
An injury-time penalty try ensured Newark had to settle for a draw in a dramatic match at Ilkeston.
Newark held the upper-hand for much of a contest on a cold afternoon but, frustratingly, could not hold on to a 24-17 lead going into injury time.
A spate of penalties maintained Ilkeston’s last-ditch attack which ended in the referee signalling for a penalty try after Newark were penalised for collapsing a maul as the home pack trundled towards the line in the bottom corner.
The decision gave Ilkeston a draw in a match which saw both teams try to play adventurous rugby in difficult conditions.
Overall, Newark, who scored three tries to Ilkeston’s four, deserved victory for their second-half efforts.
A changed team produced another determined display led by No 8 Dave Garland and efforts of a pack including a first start in a league game for flanker Haydn Godfrey.
Newark had the first-half advantage of the conditions and the Ilkeston slope . They turned round 10-5 up thanks to try from prop Mason Coulam and a Matt Cox conversion and penalty.
Ilkeston scored right on the whistle for half-time to peg back Newark’s lead of 10-0 and then had the conditions and slope to come.
However, after Ilkeston’s initial second-half pressure which Newark fended off the visitors gained the upper hand ending in substitute scrum-half Findlay Tweedie breaking clear to dash under the posts from 30 metres out. Cox converted for a 17-5 lead.
A competitive second half continued when Ilkeston engineered a second try to cut the deficit and set up a tense final quarter.
Newark’s pack enjoyed their best period in the closing stages to work a try off a line-out drive for hooker Jed Chapple. Cox again landed the conversion for seemingly a match-winning advantage of 24-17.
Yet there was a final twist during prolonged injury time. Ilkeston maintained possession from their own 22 on the back of those penalties. Eventually, the pressure paid off and Newark were penalised at a maul in their own 22 when the referee ran under the posts to signal a penalty try and conversion. 24-24!
Newark play away again next Saturday (Jan 19), at Ashbourne in the re-arranged league game from last month, Kick off 2.15pm.
Team: Hunter-Shaw; Watts, Charles, Britten, Ford; Cox, Overland; Coulam, Chapple, Himsworth, Bagga, Mattysz, Watt, Godfrey, Garland.
Subs: Hempstead, Duncan, Tweedie.
Tries: Coulam, Tweedie, Chapple.
Conversions: Cox (3).
Penalty goal: Cox.
Scoring sequence: 7-0 Coulam try & Cox con, 10-0 Cox pen, 10-5 Ilkeston try (ht); 17-5 Tweedie try & Cox con, 17-10 Ilkeston try, 17-17 Ilkeston try & con, 24-17 Chapple try & Cox con, 24-24 Ilkeston pen try/con.
Photos provided by Tommy Pykett can be found "HERE"