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Paviors put paid to revival


Just when you thought it was safe to open your eyes and look through your fingers again at Kelham Road, Newark Rugby Club’s bright start to life in Midlands Two East this season took another nasty jolt on Saturday afternoon.

The Blue and Whites were among the leaders at the turn of the year, instead of facing the battle against relegation that has been commonplace in recent seasons, but a comprehensive 25-0 defeat at Derby was followed by a 20-15 defeat at home to a Paviors side that Newark had beaten 36-0 in the reverse fixture at Burntstump in October.

A try 15 minutes from the end by Danny Graney, the Paviors fly-half, settled a close contest in which Newark had led 15-5 at the interval having enjoyed first use of the conditions.

The Kelham Road pitch had recovered sufficiently well from floods to allow an entertaining derby that Newark dominated for two thirds of the afternoon.

But the home team, now three points behind leaders Hinckley, paid for failing to make the most of their advantage in the first half.

Paviors had scored first when wing Jared Kelly stole away on the right to touch down a kick ahead, but Newark then made up the lost ground by scoring twice before the interval when they played some good rugby to touch down through back row men Matt Brewer and Lewis Cove. Brewer demonstrated his speed and dexterity by bursting clear off a scrum while Cove smuggled over from driving forward play.

Michael Dobson, who had earlier kicked a penalty, converted the second try to give Newark a 15-5 lead.

Graney led the Paviors revival in the second half by kicking an early penalty and then converting a try from number Nathan Eggleshaw.

He missed the conversion but Paviors, despite the dismissal of flanker Grant Gatford for two yellow card offences, withstood a final assault by Newark helped by the introduction of substitute winger Aloesi Waqalevu.

It was the first time this season that Newark have suffered successive defeats, but they were again hindered by injuries that left captain Danny Coen and centre Paul Cook on the sidelines.

The Newark squad take a break tomorrow before resuming league duties next Saturday at leaders Hinckley.

Paviors 8 - Newark 2nds 12

A breakaway try by Johnny Statham settled a tight contest to keep Alex Jackson’s 2nd XV at the top of the Notts Pennant. Statham struck after the sides turned round at 5-5, with Jackson having scored his side’s try after a neat break by scrum-half Ollie Bradley.

A high tackle cost Newark a penalty in the second half before Statham galloped away to score the try converted by Colts debutant Joe Musgrove.

Paviors 7 - Newark 3rds 10

Newark 3rds had their match transferred to Paviors because the back pitches at Kelham Road were still waterlogged, but they maintained their unbeaten run thanks to tries from captain Dan Harrison and flanker Dan Skelton.

Derby Vets 34 - Newark 4ths 5

A try by Tom Hill junior, that saw him evaded three or four tacklers, was the high point of Newark’s trip to Derby in a match played in good spirit.

Ashfield 22 - Southwell 25

Richard Drinkwater played a major part in beating a rejuvenated Ashfield side, and also managed to get himself on the scoresheet for the second week running with an excellent try to go with those by Dave Milner and Malc Hazard plus a penalty and two conversions by Paul Rich.

Southwell 2nds 15 - Derby 10

The Reapers lined up to try and secure their league future with a tough assignment against Derby, and they showed their courage with a battling 15-10 win thanks to tries from Ed Hammond and Steve Knight and a penalty and a conversion by Adam Madely.

Meden Vale 30 - Southwell 3rds 10

Southwell 3rds loaned Meden Vale several players and then lost, having to settle for consolation points from tries by Mike “Bomber” Lancaster and Dave Munns, although the Redmen will receive the points for the league match as the opposition were unable to field a front row.

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