Coalville 12-22 Newark 1sts: Newark bounce back from Christmas break with away win thanks to Alex O'Dell and Sam Dobson efforts
Newark needed a late try to finally overcome a determined Coalville team in muddy conditions as the league action resumed after the Christmas holiday break.
No 8 Sam Dobson forced his way over to seal Newark’s win by three tries to two in the Midlands East North Two, and Alex O’Dell converted the final score to go alongside his first-half contribution of a try, conversion and penalty.
The win, the team’s ninth of the campaign, maintained fourth place, two points behind Matlock and Melbourne and eight off leaders Long Eaton.
Unlike the first match between the teams in the autumn, when Newark raced to success, Saturday proved to be a slog and the win was owed to collective determination.
Newark had tried to play attacking rugby in the first half and conjured two tries in the difficult conditions which made handling very difficult.
The first try came mid-way into the half when a powerful run from prop Jordan Hempstead set up a midfield attack ending in right wing Josh Ashe racing clear off a Will Britten break in midfield.
Coalville quickly struck back to level, but a second try, just before the interval, from O’Dell, following good link play by lock Will Ellison, gave Newark a 15-5 lead at half-time, the scrum-half adding the conversion to go alongside a penalty.
Coalville enjoyed the majority of the territory in the second half helped by Newark losing a man to the sin bin.
They cut the lead to 15-12, which signalled alarms bells in the Newark camp.
The home team pressed for a further score but good Newark defence maintained the lead going into the closing stages.
Newark finished in charge and some good kicks set up pressure which ended in Dobson crashing over from a scrum. O’Dell landed the conversion to complete the afternoon.
On Saturday, Newark return to Kelham Road for the first time in 2022 as they host Ilkeston (kick off 2.15pm).
Last time out, Illkeston lost 38-0 at league leaders Melbourne.
Newark: Edmed; Ashe, Britten, Taylor, Overland; Walton, O’Dell; White, Vinters, Hempstead, Ellison, Bagga, Stamp, Duncan, Dobson. Subs: Codd, Cobb, Tate.