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Newark Rugby Club defeat Matlock at home in the Midlands Division Regional Two North League

A good-sized crowd turned up to watch Newark Rugby Club 1sts bounce back to winning ways as they defeated Matlock 36-28 in a thrilling affair at Kelham Road in their Midlands Division Regional Two North League fixture.

After suffering two defeats away against Silhillians and Moseley Oak, Newark were determined to return to the form that saw them achieve four wins on the bounce before their back-to-back losses.

Will Britten’s team showed that they were still in the mix as they overturned an earlier season loss at Matlock and welcomed their Derbyshire rivals to the ground by outscoring them six tries to four.

Will Britten makes the tackle for Newark.
Will Britten makes the tackle for Newark.

Newark put in a hard-working performance that paid dividends in the second-half.

Matlock led at the break but this was quickly turned into a winning lead in the second-half thanks to four tries, including a penalty try earned by the Newark forwards.

Ovi Gilder was outstanding on the wing as the young, pacey back contributed a couple of tries.

Gilder was able to step off both feet at great speed, which caused no end of problems for the traveling team which included a beautiful first score for Newark.

Ovi Gilder scoring a try. Images: Rob Currell.
Ovi Gilder scoring a try. Images: Rob Currell.

Centre Matt Walton also crossed over in the first-half thanks to a lovely Britten pass that saw Newark go toe-to-toe with their adversaries but narrowly behind at the break as Matlock scored two in quick succession.

Gilder, a graduate of the club’s youth ranks, started the turn-around immediately after half-time when he benefited from another beautiful off-load from Britten and crossed in the corner.

Ten minutes later, Newark forced a penalty try on the Matlock line before the visitors responded with a fortuitous try of their own.

This left Newark up 24-21 as they continued to put pressure on the stubborn Matlock defence.

Lock Will Ellison hit Newark’s fifth try before the sixth came soon after thanks to Britten capitalising off an Alex Scott break.

Newark's defence stops Matlock. Images: Rob Currell.
Newark's defence stops Matlock. Images: Rob Currell.

Scott hit his third conversion of the afternoon before Matlock got a consolation try which secured them a bonus point in the closing stages.

The home side currently sits in sixth and will finish their league campaign on Saturday at home to Leicester Forest (kick-off 3pm).

The team will compete in the new RFU Community Cup competition in April with dates to be announced.

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