Newark 2nds Beat Southwell 2nds Away, 21-41
Mud, Sweat and Cheers at the home of the Redmen
With the weather-gods finally giving the long-suffering local clubs some respite after a horrendous couple of weeks, and despite being relegated to the reserve pitch after the main pitches proved unplayable, both sides managed to deliver some decent rugby to an appreciative audience of Newark and Southwell supporters this Saturday.
Fielding nearly a full squad for the first time in several games, Newark started the game with real confidence, following up an aggressive chase at the kick off with a steal at the line-out which saw Richard Primett drive forward before popping the ball to Alex Scott, who looped right, spotted a gap and went over for the first score of the day - 0-5.
Southwell's response was typically feisty, getting real momentum from the restart and forcing the visitors into an intense period of defensive duty. With good ball retention allowing them to suck in the opposition, they finally managed to force a gap in Newark's line and touched down to the left of the posts to take the lead - 7-5.
This was the signal for the visitors to go into offensive mode, spending the next 10 minutes camped in Southwell's 22 - and butchering at least two good scoring chances along the way - before gifting the Redmen with an intercept which saw them notching up another 7 points and left Newark with nothing to show in spite of a lot of hard graft - 14-5.
Despite this lapse in concentration, Newark came straight back on the attack, this time moving the ball around with purpose. After a series of hard-fought breakdowns, Jason Matthysz managed to break through the Southwell line on the charge to touch down by the posts - 14-12 (conv. Josh Seabrooke).
Five minutes later, and despite Southwell pressure from the restart, Newark added another 7 points after working up the pitch in a series of rucks and mauls, before getting the ball down the line into the waiting hands of Ali Moss, who hared off up the left wing before looping round behind the posts to score - 14-19.
Whilst Newark may have struggled a little to capitalise on their hard work before the break, the half time talk from coach Byrom clearly had its effect, with the visitors piling on the pressure and scoring 3 tries in the next 20 minutes. Ali Moss took the first of these in similar fashion to his last following a slog up the centre by the forwards - 14-24; Harry Jenkins - excellent value all afternoon at scrum half - took the second after dummying his way through a non-existent gap to touch down - 14-29; and Josh Seabrooke converted his own try after breaking through on the left - 14-36.
With the game clearly slipping away from them, the Redmen nonetheless remained combative and in a rare period of home pressure, managed to maul their way over Newark's line to score left of the posts - 21-36.
However, in general it was one-way traffic in the final quarter, with Callum Sheriff applying the coup-de-grace, after a lovely little grubber kick from Alex Scott sat up for him to give him the score on the right - 21-41, full time (conv. Seabrooke).
Great performance from the boys in blue, and good to see them return to winning ways after a run of difficult outings. Everyone put their hands up today, particularly the pack who tamed an aggressive and sizeable Southwell forward unit, giving the talented back line space to manoeuvre.
Next up - Paviors at home.
Tries: Alex Scott, Jason Matthysz, Ali Moss (2), Harry Jenkins, Josh Seabrooke, Callum Sheriff
Conversions: Josh Seabrooke (3)