Newark Rugby 1sts defeat county rivals Paviors in Regional Two North Midlands
Newark saved the best until last in a memorable first league clash since 2016 against county rivals Paviors.
And a victory-sealing try by Josh Ashe, dashing clear from the Newark 22, was one of two outstanding scores which earned ovations from the Kelham Road faithful in the 31-19 victory in Regional Two North Midlands
Newark won by five tries to three thanks to a never-say-die attitude topped off by the pace of Ashe and another speedster in Ovi Gilder.
Ashe, who scored three tries to add to the four he grabbed in the opening league win against Sutton Coldfield, was following the earlier deeds of Gilder.
Gilder motored down the left for another length-of-pitch score after Newark moved the ball quickly from their own 22 aided by a knock-on call going their way.
It was a try which rewarded persistence for the wing as he kicked ahead before wrestling his way past the Paviors cover.
Gilder’s score was all part of a second-half revival after a first half when Paviors had threatened to dominate the match following an early score for a 5-0 lead.
Though Newark levelled through the bustling work of flanker Tom O’Leary, Paviors had the better of the half and a second try put them 12-5 up at the interval.
Newark could have turned round level but missed out on some study forward pressure, led by the forceful drives of front-rower Mattie Ashton, in the final moments.
The second half was kicked started for Newark by the arrival of substitute back Aloesi Waqalevu. He brought some much-needed urgency and contributed to Ashe forcing his way over for his first try.
With full-back Jack Drabble adding the conversion, Newark were level at 12-12. Paviors had plenty of possession but they were unhinged by the home team’s eagerness to attack which brought Gilder his chance just after the hour mark.
Newark led 17-12 but a converted Paviors try edged them17-19 up before Ashe collected his second by bursting clear off a move following a home line-out. Drabble converted for a 24-19 lead.
The score spurred Paviors to dominate the final stages which included a series of scrums on the Newark line.
However, the vigil ended when a wayward pass went forward which ruined a try chance outwide.
Newark had the last word from the scrum by again demonstrating their attacking ways. Instead of clearing the ball into touch they choose to give Ashe the chance down the right.
He needed no second invitation and surprised the Paviors defence for a third try on an afternoon to remember for all.
The 1sts are next in action on Friday night (September 29) at West Bridgford (7.45pm kick-off).