Newark Seconds beat Lincoln Seconds 28-7
By DAVID GODFREY
Dominant Performance from Newark Stops Lincoln in Their Tracks
This was the first outing at the new Kelham Road clubhouse for the 2s, with autumn providing rather more traditional rugby weather than of late, Lincoln providing a typically gnarly opposition and absence/injury dictating a somewhat changed side to the last couple of outings.
Nonetheless, Newark dominated play from the outset, pressurising a stubborn Lincoln defence and keeping them penned for the most part in their own 22 for the first quarter of the game, and creating a number of scoring opportunities without quite managing to execute on them.
Something had to give, and with the rain slackening off, Newark made the most of an attacking scrum on the 5m line, with no. 8 Josh Whitton peeling off the back and going over on the left - 5-0.
Newark continued to turn the screw and John Blagg followed up 5 minutes later, crashing through on the left, beneficiary of a fine run by Will Saege -10-0. And they added insult to injury from the restart with the trio of Saege, Godfrey and Cooling marauding up the pitch creating space for Duncan Bryant to touch down - 15-0.
With Tom Lee adding 3 points on the stroke of halftime, after Lincoln were pinged for holding on in a kickable position, the visitors clearly had work to do if they were to claw their way back into the game - 18-0.
Lincoln were more combative in the third quarter, blunting the Newark attack well and putting together some determined forays of their own on the back of some erratic kicking by the home side. Finally they were able to take advantage of a yawning gap on the three quarter line to burst through, scoring a fine converted try by the posts. 18-7.
The final 20 minutes of the game however was all Newark's, with Fran Appleton - back after serious injury last season - providing a serious challenge in both set-piece and the loose, and colt James Stimson, on his debut for the 2s, coming on to cause real problems for a creaking Lincoln defence.
A solid scrum on the three-quarter line sent scrum-half Tom Lee streaking for the line, with a fine assist from Alex Jackson at the back of the scrum - 23-7 - and the unstoppable momentum of Ben Wells and Lee Gillet provided the final score of the game after a fracas on the visitors line - 28-7, final score.
Good all round performance from a side which kept its shape and composure throughout in difficult conditions, and great to see old faces returning as well as new blood coming in. Thanks also to Lincoln for a dogged if ultimately unsuccessful effort.
Next up - Notts Medics at Kelham Road.
Tries: Josh Whitton, John Blagg, Duncan Bryant, Tom Lee, Ben Wells
Penalty: Tom Lee