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Colts denied by late try


A late try denied Newark Rugby Club’s Colts victory in the Notts, Lincs and Derbys competition on Sunday when they lost 30-24 against Mansfield.

Newark led 19-8 early in the second half and 24-23 in the final stages before Mansfield came back again to win a helter-skelter contest at Market Rasen.

Two tries immediately after the interval gave Newark the advantage.

Wing Russell Westacott and hooker Michael Topley punished Mansfield errors to bring hopes of victory.

However, a poor spell in the middle of the half allowed Mansfield to take control at 23-19. Newark then launched an excellent counter attack that led to flanker James Dyer scoring the corner.

Mansfield then had the last word to deny Newark the trophy. Earlier in the first half, wing Angus Spencer had cancelled out an early score by Mansfield. David Fagan landed two conversions.

Sleaford XV proved the stronger side when they beat Newark 4ths 35-17.

Good tackling by Toby Edlin and Craig Ellis helped to keep Sleaford at bay.

Stan Hutchinson provided the points for Newark through two tries, two conversions and a penalty.

Newark Under-14s ended their 15-a-side season with a 32-12 win against Southwell on Sunday.

Newark Under-15s came away with the runners-up plate after facing their toughest test of the season, against a strong Nottingham side in the NLD Plate final at Kesteven.

The game ended 27-15 to Nottingham but this did not reflect the effort Newark put in.

Newark 1st XV finish their season a week on Sunday in the final of the Notts Cup against Paviors at Mellish, kick off 4pm. The 2nd XV meet opposition from the same club in the final of the Ron Rossin Shield at the same venue, kick off 2pm.

A successful season was toasted at the club’s annual players’ dinner on Saturday.

The main award of player of the year went to Lewis Cove for his consistent displays at flanker in helping Newark finish fourth in Midlands Two East.

Another first team regular, Mark Miller, gained the most improved player-of-the-year award. He won the vote ahead of Chris Wildgust, Alex Jackson and Chris Blood.

Blood, who started the season in the fourth team, gained the 2nd team player-of-the-year award.

His best contribution came in a match-winning try against Mansfield in the semi-final of the Ron Rossin Shield. Tom Holmes won the third team award. The fourth team prize went to Craig Ellis.

Two former presidents and life members, Graham Macfarlane and Charlie Fehrs, were joint winners of the John Lawrence Memorial Trophy for commitment to the club.

Shaun May, the versatile Newark forward, was in the Notts, Lincs and Derbys team that opened the county championship campaign against Essex at Eton Manor on Saturday.

The Three Counties lost 39-18 and now face Leicestershire at Kelham Road tomorrow (kick off 3pm).

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