Newark Rugby Club back in competitive action
Newark showed plenty of spirit in the first match of the new competition to get rugby going again amid the problems of the pandemic.
A good start and a couple of late tries were the highlights of an opening 43-24 defeat to visitors Leicester Forest at Kelham Road.
A very warm afternoon, firm ground and the adapted laws (no scrums or mauls) made for a fast and open game.
Newark competed well against a physical Leicester Forest side in the first half.
The visitors were strong around the breakdown but the hosts defended well and pressure forced a yellow card offence for a deliberate knock down.
Newark ran the penalty and Matt Cox put centre Chris Tate into a bit of space and the ex-captain showed a clean pair of heels to cut through the defence to score.
The back row of Dave Garland, Sean Denning and James Dyson worked tirelessly. James Brogden and Josh White were also prominent.
Newark led 5-0 at the break but the second half was very different.
Leicester Forest started strongly and scored two converted tries within the first 5 minutes. They added two more tries in the next 15 minutes and the game was running away from Newark at 5-26.
However, Newark pulled a try back with debutant George Bacon going over in the corner from a nicely weighted pass from Cox.
Leicester Forest added two more tries to put them comfortably ahead at 10 - 38 but the home side showed great character by adding two more converted tries of their own through Connor Slack and Alex O’Dell.
This made the score 24-38 and it was probably fitting that the visitors had the last say with a try just before the final whistle to give a final score line of 24-43.
Thanks to all players and officials for getting the game staged and to all supporters and lunchtime guests (hope you enjoyed the lunch and rugby).
Thanks as always to all club staff and volunteers.
1st XV squad: White, Godfrey, Hempstead, Duggan, Brogden, J Dyson, Denning, Garland, O'Dell, Cox, Spurr, Tate, Taylor, Overland, Archdale.
Subs: Bacon, Connor Slack, Codd, Corcoran.