Newark Ladies played their first game since 2010 at the weekend as they returned to rugby union existence all be it in close defeat to Belper, a cracking match ending 19-22 in the away sides favour.
Mark Dobb stating “On a perfect day for rugby, Kelham Road was treated to a fine display of women’s rugby, in front of a large crowd of supporters, the women donned the blue and white for the first time!”
The home side were second best during the first section of a game broken into four quarters where Belper ran away into a 17-0 lead but a spirited two thirds following a few changes in personnel had Newark scoring nineteen unopposed points to set up a nail-biting finish.
Newark reporter Mark Dobb saying “The whole game was played with a tremendous spirit and the enthusiastic crowd recognised how the team grew during this encounter.”
In the men’s game, Paviors RFC moved into third place in the Regional 2 Midlands Counties North division at the weekend, following a tough, 29-24 success away to Matlock, for their fourth bonus point win in succession.
Local rivals Newark, and West Bridgford, seventh and eighth respectively, also collected wins with the former seeing off lowly Mellish 15-13 away, and the latter romping to a 66-7 win at home to Sutton Coldfield.
Flanagan was on-hand to bag an early, opening try for Pavs in their road win, before Doug Billam tapped home a penalty from 15m to double the visitors’ advantage; the hosts then scored twice in quick succession to move four points ahead.
Pavs though weren’t to be held down for long and another score was added following a lineout for a 17-14 score; the hosts however went in with a two-point advantage at the break when registering their third try of a tight contest.
As the game moved into the final ten minutes, Matlock added a fourth try, before a try in the corner put Pavs two ahead, Harry Kerr finishing the game off with a score in the corner, and a final conversion from George Billam, to seal the win in what was a see-saw game.
Newark kept their noses in front when away to Mellish as full back Jack Drabble and winger Ovi Gilder both crossed for tries for the victors, James Tarbatt registering both a conversion and a penalty, whilst William Cresswell registered the hosts’ try, and added two penalties of his own to the score.
West Bridgford meanwhile romped to a sizeable win at home to Sutton Coldfield, racking up ten tries and eight conversions (Calum Gunn) in the process; Jay Heath crossing for the first inside the first minutes, Charlie Wright adding the second just six minutes later.
Heath doubled his tally for the day with a second try on 24 minutes and, with another, successful conversion, Bridgy were 19-up with twenty-five played; there was still tom for more in the first half as Will Greenwood and Rhden Teal also added scores, along with another couple of Gunn conversions, for a commanding, 33-0 interval lead.
The tries continued to flow in the second also, Joshua Pearson crossing after 55 minutes, Harry Preston adding another minutes later before, an on the hour mark, Gunn himself crossed, and converted, to push the dominant hosts into a 54-0 lead.
Sutton Coldfield snatched a consolation (converted) on 67 minutes, but Gunn restored the big advantage, with his second of the game, five minutes later, Teal adding a second for himself late on to complete the rout as that of Heath, Teal, and Gunn, snagged a brace of tries apiece.
Notts’ mid-table pair in the Counties 1 Midlands East (North), Mansfield and Southwell, both suffered defeat on the road at the weekend, the former losing 39-6 at Ilkeston on Friday night, and the latter going down 34-17 at Lincoln on Saturday afternoon.
There was mixed results in Counties 2 with only Newark IIs coming out on top, they seeing off visiting Belper 22-18 to move up one to third bottom, their opponents stranded at the bottom, whilst there was narrow defeats for Nottingham Moderns (4) and Nottingham Casuals (5), in road games at Gainsborough (24-15) and Derby IIs (33-26) respectively, and Ashfield were dismissed, quite handsomely, 57-5 away to leaders Kesteven.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of Notts-based clubs in the two, Counties 3 divisions, four of whom reside in the Midlands East (North) and six in the Midlands East (Central); in the former Meden Vale are keeping pace at the top of the division following a 37-20 success at home to Matlock IIs in what is a tight, top five separated by just three points.
Results were hard-viewing elsewhere in the division though, Ollerton narrowly losing 33-20 when home to league leaders, Chesterfield Panthers, whilst Worskop shipped 80+ and East Retford 100+ in heavy defeats – the former went down 84-5 away to Bakewell Mannerians, and the latter were thumped 114-3 when at Tupton.
As for the Central division, Keyworth lead West Bridgford IIs by one point at the top of the table, Southwell IIs sitting fourth and Paviors IIs seventh after the weekend’s games; Keyworth picked up another win when seeing off their hosts, Melbourne IIs, 33-15, and Bridgy’s second string narrowly edged their hosts, Pavs seconds, by one, 33-32, to keep up the pressure.
Southwell IIs also won local, they 37-7 victors at home to Nottinghamians, adrift at the foot of the table on -8 following a ten-point deduction, and eight straight losses, and Mellish IIs went down 24-5 at Ashbourne IIs.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @newarkrufc the Newark girls on their clubs first rugby showing 13 years.