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Newark men's 1st gain points on MHRA Premier rivals South Notts

By Connor Thompson

The pressure is mounting in the MHRA Premier as Newark men’s 1sts gained two points on their South Notts (Bingham) rivals.

Newark hosted Chesterfield, and a five-goal thriller saw the hosts steal the points in a 3-2 win.

Kian Hunter (2) and Ryan Foster were Newark’s scorers, while Sam Smith was named man-of-the-match.

Newark Hockey Men's 3rds V Belper Tim McManus No.4. (7082265)
Newark Hockey Men's 3rds V Belper Tim McManus No.4. (7082265)

South Notts, who sit one place above Newark, drew 4-4 with Boots’ 3rd side.

South Notts took the lead through a well converted Tom Crossland short corner, but were pegged back by the visitors, only for the same thing to happen again, not once, but twice.

Having taken the lead for the fourth time through Gaz Bland, Boots continued to fight back, and rescued a point.

Newark men’s 2nd’s remain bottom of the division after losing 9-0 to league leaders University of Nottingham.

Thomas Linford was awarded man-of-the-match.

Elsewhere, Newark’s 3rds lost 11-0 to Belper, while South Notts’ 2nds beat Barton by the same scoreline.

South Notts’ development side were also in action, they beat West Bridgford 10th side 3-1.

In the Midland Region Women’s League, Newark’s ladies’ 1sts climbed above Belper with a 5-2 win against Kettering 2nds.

In what was their first league fixture since the Christmas break, the 1sts didn’t disappoint.

Sarah Pask opened for scoring, but Newark fell behind to two first-half strikes.

However, the hosts came out inspired after coach Paul Halfpenny reiterated the game plan to his players.

Goals from Hannah Beckett, Trish Trafford and Dani Ashwell followed as Newark eased to victory.

Newark’s ladies’ 2nds travelled to Goosedale Sports Club to face North Notts ­— a side they beat 2-1 earlier in the season.

With no substitutes, Newark’s coach Sally Halfpenny was keen to get the team prepared for a game of making the ball do the work, however, the home side were equal to Newark and defended deeply.

Having won several penalty corners without anything to show for it, Newark’s frustration was evident, and was made worse when North Notts scored from a penalty corner.

Defensively, Newark prevented any other real chances for North Notts and Amy Crouch, Lyndsey Sayer and Mel Woods moved the ball away from danger and up the pitch to the wingers, who were supported by Susan Tate and Rachel Vickers in midfield.

Despite their attacking efforts in the second-half, nothing came from it, and Newark were hit with a sucker punch moments before full-time as North Notts doubled the lead.

Newark’s ladies’ 3rds ­— who sit six places and 16 points behind the 2nds ­— earned their second draw of the season as they did their club-mates a favour and took points from Worksop, who sit four points behind the 2nds.

The visitors were frustrated to see Newark’s Zoe White, who man-marked the Worksop centre forward and did a selfless job for her team.

But, after a series of penalty corners, Worksop finally broke the Newark defence and scored from a scrappy play in front of goal.

Undeterred, Newark fought back and worked the ball around the pitch with great runs from wingers Tash Gresswell and centre forward Alex Olivant.

After a number of penalty corners of their own, Sophie Chambers swept the ball past the Worksop shot-stopper and made it 1-1 before half-time.

A scoreless second-half followed.

Southwell Brincliffe United remain bottom after losing 2-0 to West Bridgford ladies’ 2nds.


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