By Jim Ashe
The under 16's opened this seasons bid for NLD silverware with an away fixture at Sleaford resulting in a narrow victory.
The game started in familiar fashion with Newark having a large portion of possession but little or no reward as they struggled to find that final link to break down a dogged Sleaford defence. In fact it was Sleaford who registered the first points after 20 minutes with a successful kick at goal following a penalty for offside (3-0). Newark bounced straight back however and seemed to at last be finding their rhythm and a quick counter attack after an excellent turn over by George Coen gave Josh Ashe an opportunity to cruise in for Newark's first try (3-5). This was followed minutes later by some great open running by David Spencer who crossed the line for our second after some dazzling foot work to junx the Sleaford covering defence. Try converted by Ollie Gelsthorpe (3-12).
Sleaford came back after the break and soon scored a try under the posts after some strong running and link up play from their pack which Newark should really have defended better (10-12). The come back was confounded soon after with the award of a penalty in front of Newark's posts (13-12).
Newark reacted well to this and for the first time in the game began to play with some shape and purpose, pinning Sleaford back in their own half and forcing errors from them resulting with a penalty to Newark on the Sleaford 22. George Bacon found a good touch and from the resulting line out the pack drove as one towards the Sleaford try line allowing George Coen to go over and regain the lead. Try converted by Josh Ashe (13-19). Newark managed to keep Sleaford in their own half for much of the remainder of the game and in what turned out to be the final play some quick hands saw the ball end up with Jack Taylor who went over in the corner to secure Newark's win (13-24).
Jim ASHE &Aiden LEA