Newark Rugby Club 1sts fall at home to Ilkeston while 2nds produce ruthless performance at Mansfield
Newark Rugby Club’s first team fell to their first home league defeat after a tense finish against Ilkeston at a foggy Kelham Road.
A late try from flanker Josh Stamp, which was converted by the ever-reliable kicker Alex O’Dell, gave Newark hope of overhauling Ilkeston who had built a lead of 19-9.
Ilkeston tried to run the clock down but Newark forced more pressure which brought another penalty with seconds remaining.
It was too far out for a shot at goal.
The ball was kicked to touch for a line-out but an Ilkeston player leapt and tapped the ball back into play and it was cleared into touch.
Newark, however, did gain a losing bonus point from what was a tough afternoon which kept them in fourth place, having only lost previously away to Melbourne and leaders Long Eaton in the Midlands Two East North.
Injuries also hit the team, flanker Jayme Duncan sustained an ankle problem early on while prop Jordan Hempstead went off near half time due to a shoulder problem.
Josh Codd replaced Duncan while Jedd Chapple, back in the squad for the first time this season, showed his versatility by moving across to prop, having started at hooker. Jamie Vinters came into the front row.
Newark had gone ahead through a penalty from O’Dell after eight minutes, but neither side could really assert any authority on the rest of the half.
Number eight Sam Dobson was unlucky not to be able to hold on to an interception chance which would have put him in the clear, but it was the visitors who ended the deadlock at the end of the half when they drove over from close in.
They failed to convert with the score 5-3 in their favour at half time.
The game continued to be nervy until O’Dell put the home side back in front with another well-struck penalty.
Ilkeston added the next score after 60 minutes with a well-taken try which was converted to give them a 12-6 lead.
Once again, O’Dell chipped away at the lead with another penalty to keep Newark in touch, reducing the deficit to 12-9.
With ten minutes left to play, the visitors scored another converted try and the game seemed to be slipping away from Newark.
But with five minutes to go they were awarded another penalty close to the Ilkeston line which ended in Stamp being driven over.
O’Dell converted to make it 19-16 with very little time left and, ultimately, it was not long enough to gain the decisive score.
Newark return to action on January 29 away to Lincoln.
Mansfield 2nds 10
Newark 2nds 87
An unforgiving performance saw Newark Rugby Club 2nds thrash Mansfield 2nds as the visitors continued their winning start to the year.
Newark were 22-17 winners over West Bridgford last time out, and were expected to face a similarly tough task at Eakring Road, but what followed was few and far between.
A rampaging run by Newark’s Josh Duggan down the right flank and some swift inter passing eventually led to Johnno Marshall’s first try.
The left winger’s strength and pace should have served as a warning to an experienced Mansfield team as they fell behind in the second minute.
Marshall went on to score his second just two minutes later after collecting his own high kick.
With Rhys Overland pulling the strings at fly-half, Newark dominated the opening exchanges with a willingness to run from anywhere.
An elusive run from Robbie Hunter-Shaw gave Tom Partridge a run-in under the posts and Newark were 21 points up after seven minutes.
Realising they were facing a landslide, Mansfield finally woke up and mounted a sustained period of pressure around Newark’s 22 forcing a series of tackles on their heavy forwards and big backs.
Newark held out and Marshall once again raced away to complete his hat-trick and put Newark 26 points up with scarcely 20 minutes on the clock.
The try-fest saw Chris Tate, Overland and Naqasimi go over twice apiece, while scores from James Allen and Tom Partridge followed.
Despite this, Mansfield did manage an opening try as a reward for their pressure during Newark’s dominance, and they finished the game with a consolation try.
Next up for Newark is Lincoln 2nds at Kelham Road on January 29 in the Security Plus Pennant Group One (2.15 kick-off).