Under 14's win at Keyworth
Success in hard fought match
Newark U14s -v- Keyworth
Willoughby Road, Widmerpool.
There are four public houses in Keyworth, the oldest being the Salutation Inn, which was established in the late 15th century. There are three Chinese takeaways, two fish-and-chip shops, three Indian takeaways and a pizza takeaway. Keyworth is home to the headquarters of the British Geological Survey, located since 1976 on the site of the former Mary Ward Teacher Training College on Nicker Hill in the North-Eastern quadrant of the village. Finally, for anyone interested, the annual Keyworth Turkey Trot takes place next Sunday, I’ll leave that to your imagination.
Anyway, enough information about the environs of our opponents - on to the slightly more important matter of the match...
We knew that Keyworth would be a tough game. Although it was cold the conditions looked good and the match was to take place on the First Team pitch.
The game got underway and the first few minutes were exciting and hard fought. Newark were the first to score with a try after 8 minutes of constant pressure. Ciaran scored a superb try after a great driving ruck from the Newark forwards who looked like they could dominate the Keyworth pack. 5-0 to Newark. The Newark front row of Ciaran, Finn B and Will P looked formidable.
There followed, after the kick-off, a penalty to Keyworth. Infringement - high tackle. The ball was kicked to touch by Keyworth and a lineout. Keyworth threw in and moved the ball out along the line and eventually their winger was taken in to touch with a strong Newark tackle. The Lineout was won and Newark kicked to touch. A further lineout, this time it was Keyworth to throw in. Keyworth fumbled the ball but managed to retain possession. A succession of penalties followed for Keyworth, at least 5. As Keyworth got closer and closer to the Newark posts they finally elected to kick. The Keyworth kicker, who was very skilled, booted the ball and it went over. It was now 5-3.
After play re-started Newark kicked and chased from well within the Newark half and ended up 5m from Keyworth line, coming close to scoring a try. A familiar sound was starting to echo around the Willoughby Road ground - the piercing screech of something that sounded very similar to the infamous "Oakham Whistle". For those who remember the sound, its shrill pitch was is surpassed by the frequency of use.
Keyworth won possession and counter-attacked. A scrum just north of the Keyworth 22. Keyworth put in and win the scrum. Aggressive contested play for several minutes and within minutes Keyworth were awarded yet another penalty and kicked to touch. A Keyworth lineout on halfway line. Keyworth attacked after the lineout and a very nice sidestep and some confident running left Newark defenders literally standing still. Keyworth went straight through the Newark line following some missed tackles and scored right under posts. The try was easily converted. 10-5.
After the re-start Newark were (finally) awarded penalty. Josh passed quickly out to Finn who made good ground very quickly, drew his man then an excellent offload to Archie who scored a fantastic try - in the right place at the right time and he took the opportunity very well. Newark missed the conversion, which was not straightforward, so it was now 10-10.
Keyworth kicked off and were then awarded a penalty for Newark handling on the floor of the ruck. It was nearing half time and the pressure was back on Newark. Keyworth kicked well and the lineout was to be practically on the on the Newark try line. Thankfully Newark defended well and gained possession and the familiar sound was very good to hear indeed.
Half time. 10-10.
The Second half was underway in no time.
Play started with a few scrappy passes and a careless knock-on led to a Keyworth scrum. Newark attacked but conceded yet another penalty for handling in the ruck. Keyworth kicked. At the breakdown more aggressive play from the pack who were fighting hard for the ball and then the whistle again - a Keyworth scrum. Keyworth were then awarded a penalty for apparent handling in the ruck that followed and elected to kick for goal. It was perhaps a turning point. The kick missed and was caught and Newark were straight on the counter-attack. Newark lost possession but were quickly were awarded a scrum for a fumble and knock on by a Keyworth centre. A great run from Finn who performed a textbook No.8 pickup and made a good 40 metres, offloading and then Newark attacked again. Newark came very close to scoring another try at this point. The tension was mounting and the loyal Newark supporters were as anxious as the boys on the bench and the coaches. Newark were piling on the pressure and had just had an excellent 10 minutes of total domination. Scrum to Newark. No8 pickup again, Newark drove forward at pace and Finn went to ground whilst Simmo picked up, drove forwards and then dived over the Keyworth line to score a well deserved try. The relentless pressure from the Newark forwards had paid off and it was now 17-10.
Newark attacked again after the re-start. We made some substitutions and a few people changed position. Newark quickly conceded a penalty for an offside offence at the scrum. Keyworth kicked the ball in to touch. Keyworth made a break and attacked decisively. They were able to run straight through the middle and several tackles were missed. There was now only Monty left and the large Keyworth player was running at full pelt towards him. Deathly silence. It looked like Keyworth were about to level the match...
Full credit to our fearless fullback. A try saving tackle was administered courageously - by a very brave Monty. Well done.
Next it was a Newark scrum on the Newark 5m line. Some great defensive play and a safe kick. It was now 11.57 and there was an some great rucking from Newark as the forwards piled in quickly with some real force to push Keyworth off the ball. Newark then conceded a penalty. Then another. Then another. That familiar sound again. Keyworth attacked quickly and scored a try following missed tackles that simply should not have been missed. A lack of commitment allowed Keyworth to once again break through and score. Thankfully for Newark the try was scored some distance from the posts so it would be an uphill challenge for the Keyworth kicker to get the extra 2 points.
Keyworth missed the conversion which would have levelled the game. That familiar sound again - this time in bursts followed by a very long one....
Newark win. 17-15.
Thank you to Keyworth for hosting us. It was a clean, hard fought game and Keyworth were formidable opponents. Well done boys – a great team effort. A good win but I’m guessing the tackle bags will be out on Tuesday evening...
Report by Chris Milligan
Checked by Charles Paley