Newark 1sts with an attacking line out close to Ilkeston’s line. Photograph: Tom Pykett
Newark 1sts with an attacking line out close to Ilkeston’s line. Photograph: Tom Pykett

A late try earned Newark a fifth successive victory as they kept up the pressure at the top of the Midlands Division Two East (North).

They were rewarded for a strong first-half when Mason Coulam and Aloesi Waqalevu scored two tries to give Newark the advantage.

Ilkeston responded after the break and briefly took a three-point lead, before Newark scored with a pushover try to seal the win.

The result extends Newark’s gap over second-placed Matlock to five points.

Vast amounts of rain led to the match being moved to Ilkeston’s second team pitch, which cut up readily and proved to be a leveller for the teams.

The hosts won a kickable penalty immediately from kick-off, but the ball flew wide.

Newark responded with some pressure around their opponent’s line, only for a spilt ball to gift the home side possession.

Ilkeston took the lead against the run of play after six minutes as they broke from defence and scored under the posts to gain a 7-0 advantage.

The try seemed to spark Newark into life and they went close to scoring after a skilful break and kick ahead by Alex Scott, but he was unable to find Will Britten with the crucial pass.

A Newark penalty was put into touch on the right and from the line-out Newark worked a well-rehearsed rolling maul to put prop Mason Coulam over for the try.

Scott’s conversion attempt from wide out hit the bar and bounced back but Newark were back in the game.

With only minutes of the first half remaining, Newark won a line-out in the opposition 22 on the left and Aloesi Waqalevu burst through some suspect defence to score a try, converted by Scott.

Immediately after half-time, Ilkeston punished some slack Newark tackling by breaking out of their 22 to score their second breakaway try and level the match at 12-12.

The game was becoming scrappy as both sides looked for a crucial advantage.

Tom Coen suffered a broken nose in a mid-air collision.

Newark pressure was now continuous and, despite losing another forward, Dave Shiels, with a damaged shoulder, the scrum continued to dominate.

However, Ilkeston fought their way back into midfield and took the lead with a well struck penalty from 35 yards.

Newark fought back and, with time running out, took up position deep into Ilkeston’s half and won a succession of penalties.

The scrum had been dominant throughout the game for Newark, and with eight minutes left they scored a powerful pushover try to earn a two-point lead.

There was time for more drama as Waqalevu was sin-binned for a high-tackle, but the 14 men held firm to claim the victory.

Newark host Lincoln on Saturday at Kelham Road.

Southwell 1sts match away at Coalville was the only fixture in the Midlands Division Two East (North) to fall victim to the weather.

An away win was awarded to Amber Valley as Bingham failed to raise a team for their match in the Midlands Division Five East (North).


Newark 2nds 32 Southwell 2nds 24

A competitive outing bet-ween two familiar rivals ended with a narrow victory for Newark at Kelham Road.

The teams had met twice this season going into the match, resulting in a win apiece for both sides.

Newark broke the deadlock after ten minutes, when a failed clearance allowed Joe Burns to run up the right wing.

He found David Fotheringham who piled over the line to score.

Southwell hit back almost immediately, after an isolated Josh Seabrook was robbed of the ball, allowing James Barker to run through and score for Southwell. He converted.

The match turned scrappy with both sides giving up possession too easily in the middle of the pitch.

Newark retook the lead as Jason Matthysz played a quick ball to spark a break, which eventually led to James Stark going over in the corner.

They extended their advantage, when Findlay Tweedie slipped the ball down the line to Burns who powered over.

Despite the setback, Southwell came roaring back into contention as they camped around the Newark line for a sustained attack.

Dom Rockley eventually went over in the corner to pull the score back to 17-12.

At the start of the second-half, Newark increased their advantage with a fourth try as Sam Dobson touched down on the left.

The see-saw nature of the game continued, and Southwell winning a line-out allowing Andrew Smith to go over from a well-executed rolling maul.

Connor Slack found a gap and sprinted the length of the pitch to give Newark a 27-19 lead.

They scored again moments later when a quick ball found Ali Moss who touched down in the corner.

Southwell came back with a well-worked score in the dying minutes of the game, with Matt Stevens going over.

However it was too little too late as Newark claimed the friendly victory.


East Retford 2nds 17 Newark 3rds 29

A strong start for Newark earned them a convincing victory against East Retford in a pennant match.

They took the lead in the first few minutes when Zack Briggs-Price forced his way over after tireless work from the forwards.

Newark extended their lead through a catch and drive, with Grant Dixon getting the final touch down for a 10-0 advantage.

A third try was added straight from the kick-off as Josh Codd took the high ball out of the air and produced a darting run through the defence.

He was tackled by a defender, but after a few more plays Codd regained possession and went down in the corner.

Josh Tinsley scored a fourth for Newark under the posts in between two East Retford scores before half-time.

The second-half turned scrappy with both sides feeding on the other’s mistakes.

Callum Holmes took possession from a high ball and wrong-footed the defenders to score Newark’s fifth try.

East Retford added a late score, but Newark had done enough to secure a comfortable victory.