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Jubiliant 1sts on the up

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Newark Hockey Club’s Men’s 1sts secured promotion to East Midlands 1 with a 5-1 win at Nuneaton.

They fought back from an early scare for the victory thanks to goals from Nick Crouch (2) Scott Robinson, Adam Holland and Sam Dixon.

Afterwards, coach Sally Halfpenny praised her side’s team spirit.

She said: “It has been a pleasure to coach and manage the team this year.

“I have been working with some players for several years and it’s brilliant to see them get their reward, while others have come into the team and club this season and it’s been superb to see them bed-in.

“The team spirit both off and on the pitch has been fantastic and this season’s success has been built on that.”

Newark went into the Nuneaton game knowing they most likely needed a victory to guarantee promotion.

Despite Newark having the best of the early exchanges, Nuneaton went ahead when a free-hit bobbled past two visitors’ sticks to a striker who converted.

Newark soon levelled as Crouch dispatched a shot into the far corner and they went in front through Robinson from a penalty corner.

Nuneaton fought back after the break, forcing Newark to soak up periods of pressure.

Holland dealt the killer blow for Newark when he struck a reverse shot from the top of the circle into the net.

Crouch scored his second to claim the season’s top scorer award after finishing a one-on-one with the keeper before Dixon flicked home with the help of a defender’s stick in the last play of the game to spark the celebrations.

Newark finished second in the table, two points clear of Rolls Royce.

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