Newark pay the penalty for a poor start
12:52pm Wed Feb 01, 2017
Mark Layfield, of Southwell 1sts, fends off the attentions of a Matlock player.
A second successive defeat saw Newark fall to seventh as they were defeated 27-15 in the Midlands Division Two East (North) at West Bridgford.
They were 17 points behind midway through the first-half and although they recovered, they left themselves too much to do.
In good conditions, Newark kicked off but almost immediately conceded their first penalty. After five infringements in the opening ten minutes their opponents kicked the game’s first points.
After a Newark player was shown a yellow card, West Bridgford used the man advantage to good effect and went over in the corner.
Immediately from the restart the ball was kicked through to a West Bridgford player. From the resulting ruck the home side crossed the try line again for a 15-0 lead.
Competing strongly from the restart, Newark picked up their first points from an Alex Scott penalty as they drew a mistake in front of the posts.
West Bridgford turned over possession, and the resulting overlap from a quick ball provided them with a straightforward score to move 20-3 ahead.
The visitors looked to pull themselves back into the match before half-time, and recorded their first try through Jordan Slack, who beat two players before scoring in the corner. Scott added the conversion.
An opportunity was missed moments before half-time as Newark failed to take advantage of a five-metre scrum.
The second-half started positively for Newark but ill-discipline cost them when another player was sin-binned.
Some quick-thinking from West Bridg-ford gave them an easy score under the posts, which was converted.
Despite trailing by 17 points, Newark kept battling and Aloesi Waqalevu earned a late try when he burst through on the right and went over after good work from Ed Poulson.
They darted forwards in search of a bonus point in the final few moments, but Fred Tatham was held up on the line in the game’s final play.
Newark have a week off on Saturday but will return to Kelham Road on February 11 for a league match against Nottingham Casuals.
Newark 2nds won 33-21 against West Bridgford 2nds at home while Newark 3rds lost 36-22 away at North Hykeham 2nds.
Southwell 1sts 5 Matlock 1sts 31
Promotion hopes hang in the balance for second-placed Southwell as they suffered a fifth league defeat of the season.
They were outplayed by Matlock in their Midlands Division Two East (North) match, which sees them fall ten points behind leaders Melbourne.
The defeat was their first of the season where they failed to collect a bonus point.
Captain George Machin said: “It’s not going well at the moment. The teams seem to be bunching up near the top and it looks like being a scramble for second.
“Our pitch is like a ploughed field. It makes it very difficult to play our natural game but to be fair to Matlock they played the conditions better.
“We try and play a quick game, and certainly in winter when teams stop us playing they are getting the better of us.
“However, we know that you don’t play the whole season in good weather, and we need to be able to adapt.”
The match was a tough and physical encounter, and Matlock were able to do enough to always stay ahead.
Southwell’s best period came when they went down to 13 men in the second-half and Nathan Beastall went over following a catch and drive line-out.
For the most part they struggled against the elements and were unable to get past a determined defensive display by their opponents.
Southwell have no fixtures this weekend and will next be in action on February 11 when they play leaders Melbourne at home.
There was a better result for Southwell 2nds, who earned a 27-26 victory at home against Matlock 2nds.
They had been 17-7 down at half-time but a Jake Smith hat-trick and two tries for Curtis Marshall earned a narrow win.
Ollerton 1sts were heavily beaten in the Midlands Division Four East (North) in their match against second-placed Nottingham Moderns.
Their promotion-chasing opponents racked up the tries and claimed a 55-12 victory.
There was disappointment for Bingham 1sts in their local derby match at Keyworth 1sts.
A narrow 12-10 loss was suffered, which sees them move down a place to sixth in the Midlands Division Five East (North).