A try by winger Robbie Hunter-Shaw gave Newark hope of victory in the first-half of their opening Midlands Two East North match of the season.

But they were punished in the second period for giving away too many penalties, despite a good defensive performance, losing 44-20 at Dronfield.

Playing up the slope, Newark were given an early let-off as Dronfield missed a penalty on the Newark 22 in front of the posts.

Another penalty, however, led to the opening score from a line-out on Newark’s five-metre line as the home side claimed a pushover try that was converted.

Good defending kept out Dronfield after further penalties saw them back on Newark’s five-metre line.

The visitors hit back when Aloesi Waqalevu took a high kick and ran through the back line for Jordan Slack to score in the corner after a Dronfield handling error.

A home penalty earned another lineout on the five-metre line. Newark drove into touch, but the home side took the resulting lineout and scored in the corner to lead 14–5 after half-an-hour.

Dan Mackie kicked a penalty straight from the restart to reduce the deficit to six points and a fine interception by Robbie Hunter-Shaw saw Newark briefly take the lead.

The winger sprinted from the ten-metre line to score under the posts and Mackie converted.

Unfortunately for Newark the concession of penalties led to a converted try and a penalty to give the home side a 24-15 half-time advantage.

Dronfield stretched their lead through a penalty before Newark fought back, eventually scoring as Will Britten went over for a try in the corner.

Callum Slack’s conversion attempt struck the upright.

When Newark were reduced to 14 men after Rogi Saini was shown a yellow card, Dronfield capitalised with two tries in quick succession.

The visitors continued to defend well, however, when back to full strength and might have scored after a period of sustained pressure near the line.

The home side broke away though to complete the scoring with another try.

On Saturday the first team are at Oakham in the first round of the RFU Intermediate Cup (2.30pm).

Newark 2nds and 3rds both face Paviors.

- Newark 2nds lost 29-19 in a friendly at Dronfield.