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Newark hoping to get back on track at league leaders


Newark Rugby Club return to league action at leaders Hinckley tomorrow hoping that captain Danny Coen will be fit after the influential scrum-half missed the last three weeks because of a knee injury.

Coen’s quick recovery is needed after a disappointing January for the Kelham Road side in which they lost impetus in Midlands Two East after losing at Derby and then at home to Paviors.

Newark, who are now in fourth place, should also be strengthened by a starting place for winger Buddha Waqalevu who is back playing after a period on the sidelines trying to recover from a knee problem.

After the trip to Hinckley, Newark host Ampthill at Kelham Road a week tomorrow. They then face a home fixture against Mansfield in the semi-final of the Three Counties Cup, with the clubs aiming for Wednesday February 20 at Kelham Road after so far failing to agree a weekend date.

Newark first team had no game at the weekend and the fourth team were also out of action after their match at Ollerton 2nds was postponed.

Ilkeston 2nds 10 - Newark 2nds 17

Newark 2nds recorded a third successive away win in Pennant games by holding out against Ilkeston after finishing the game with only 13 men.

Lock Richard Primmett was sent off in the second half for two yellow card offences and then, in the dying minutes, flanker Gareth Bartsch was sent to the sin bin for a further infringement.

Newark led at the interval through a try from a scrum by captain Alex Jackson that Nick Gresswell converted.

Gresswell added a penalty in the second half and then converted a try by Buddha Waqalevu after good work at a scrum by Jackson and scrum-half Ollie Bradley.

Kesteven 2nds 27 - Newark 3rds 26

Dan Harrison’s men suffered their first defeat in 20 games this season in a topsy-turvy friendly match arranged after Derby had cancelled.

Kesteven led 17-0 at the interval only for Newark to claw back the deficit to lead going into the closing stages when the Grantham team recovered to score the match-winning try.

Newark pulled themselves together after the interval and led briefly through two tries from lock Craig Johnson plus one each from James McKewen, the full-back, and centre Harrison who also kicked three conversions.

Newark U-15s 38 - Scunthorpe 12

An excellent team performance saw Newark Under-15s’ 14 players take on a much bigger Scunthorpe side and run out 38-12 winners.

With the home side missing some key front row players, the game went to uncontested scrums, while the visiting pack tried to take advantage of their much larger frames in other key areas.

But strong defence and determination by Newark’s pack saw that difference count for little, and good vision by fly-half George Stewart and some slick handling by the rest of the backs saw them run six tries from Tom Balchin (4) Leon Batterham and Danny Farr, with Farr also kicking four conversions.

Newark Minis

Newark Under-9s v Lutterworth: Cavaliers L0-15 and 0-35. Roundheads L10-15 (tries — Nathan Furniss 2). W10-5 (tries — Alamien Miah 2). L5-15 (try — Jonathan Campion).

Newark Under-8s v Lutterworth: Gladiators D30-30 (tries — Joseph Burns 3, James Lockwood 2, Harry Jenkins). W35-20 (tries — James Lockwood 3, Joseph Burns 2, Sam Foreman, Robin Onians). W 45-35 (tries — Joseph Burns 4, James Lockwood 3, Sam Foreman, Jago Onians). Warriors W30-20 (tries — Isaac Ridley 2, Oliver Salvin 2, Richards Gibbs 2). D20-20 (tris — Oliver Salvin 2, Isaac Ridley, Evan Jones). W55-35 (tries — Richard Gibbs 3, Isaac Ridley 2, Oliver Salvin 2, Evan Jones, Conor White, Archie Warren, Edmond Howlett).

Southwell 2nds 20 - Kesteven 1sts 7

The Reapers squared up to recent 1st XV league opposition Kesteven 1st XV in a friendly, with the home side in determined mood following the rumour doing the rounds that Kesteven were supposingly looking on the match as a “confidence boost.”

Southwell still didn’t play their best rugby for 80 minutes, but when they did put it together it was quick and fast hands that won the day.

They borrowed 1st XV centre Paul Rich, but that was the only player who started for the Reapers who had been selected to start for the 1st XV the previous week, and stand-in skipper Tolly Roberts moved multi-purpose player Olly Lye to the back row where he excelled.

Rich struck first blood with a penalty from near the halfway line, and then converted a try from Adam Madely before kicking another penalty.

The visitors pulled back a converted try before the break, but Rich set up man of the match Jim Burley to score a try that the provider converted to seal the victory.

Ilkeston 3rds 30 - Southwell 3rds 10

A long trip in the league saw the 3rd XV mistakenly leave behind team talisman Hugo “Paddington” Villeneauve, and they had to settle for tries from Dave Rich and Jamie Speed-Andrews.

Southwell Minis

Southwell Under-10s v Nottingham B D0-0. v Matlock W15-5 (tries — Tom Broughton, Joe Garratt, George Aylward).

Southwell Under-9s v Nottingham L0-25. v Matlock W20-5 (tries — Mikey Warner 2, Joe Shayler, Alex Dunville).

Southwell Under-7s v Matlock L20-25 (tries — Jack Monahan 2, Toby Stanley, Bailey Simmons). v Nottingham L5-30 (try — Bailey Simmons). v Nottingham L20-40 (tries — Alex Pearson 2, Milo Sawula, Edward Johnston). v Matlock L10-30 (tries — Alex Pearson, Harry Sitton-Kent).

Skegness 31 - Ollerton 10

Ollerton travelled to Skegness for a Midlands Six league game, with the home side winning a very physical game with five tries to Ollerton’s two.

Ollerton started strongly and attacked Skegness for the first quarter, with a good interception from centre Martin Burton enabling him to released wing Eric Cranmer to score in the corner, and he added another in the second period but Skegness were worthy winners.

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