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Match Report: Mens 1s Secure Promotion

Mens 1s

Newark welcomed Mansfield to the Magnus for the 3rd time this season and were hoping to bounce back from their defeat last week to the hands of Leicester Panthers. They started the game knowing a win would keep them top of the league and 2 points clear of Panthers. Newark started the game strong pressing Mansfield back into their own half and not allowing them a touch of the ball. Newark started to create chance after chance but they were unable to put them away but on 7 minutes Newark picked the ball up in the middle of the pitch and with some crisp passing found Ryan Foster coming in on the back post and he put the ball into the back of the net. Newark piled the pressure on Mansfield and they won a short corner with coach Halfpenny calling the routine from the sideline. Scott Robinson dragged the ball low and hard onto the end of Tom Roper's stick who deflected the ball into the back of the net. Newark continued the pressure on Mansfield winning a couple of short corners but some sturn defending from Mansfield kept the ball out of the Net. Mansfield then started to create a foothold in the game moving the ball well and pressing Newark back over the half way line but the Newark defence held strong and limited the chances on goal to only a few tame efforts. Newark then got hold of the ball and started moving it around with a string of short passes which found them trapped in the corner but some good short passes between Davies and Eagles allowed Eagles to play the ball in to the D and to find Foster on the back post again for his second of the Day. This led Newark into half time 3-0 up and a very strong showing of possessional hockey. Newark started the second half as they finished the first moving the ball well and creating chances at will but were struggling to put away but this did not last long as Roper broke through the Mansfield defence at the top of the D and slipped the ball over the on rushing keepers leg and found Foster again free in front of goal to just touch the ball into the back of the empty net making it 4-0 to Newark. This again woke Newark into action and they won a short corner again and just like in the first half Robinson dragged the ball low and hard on to Ropers stick who deflected it into the back of the net making it 5-0 and Newark looking in full control, this seemed to of awoken Mansfield who went down the other end and won a short corner of there own and they fired a low hard shot into the back of the Net making it 5-1. Newark tried to respond to the goal but they only managed to find the woodwork and not add to their goals already but controlled it again to the final whistle and run out 5-1 winners. Goals: Ryan Foster x3 Tom Roper x 2 Man of the Match: Tom Roper

Mens 2s

Newark travelled to Sutton Coldfield with only 11 players and Luke Pearce and Mark Roper making their 1st appearances having stepped up from the 3s. Newark took an unexpected lead from a short corner with Nigel Bett firing home from a Steve Littlewood pass. However Sutton Coldfield were soon putting Newark under pressure and from the resulting short corners some slick moves saw them convert 3 of them before half time. Newark moved a few players around at half time and managed to get more of the play and put Sutton Coldfield under more pressure. However another Sutton Coldfield short corner saw them go 4-1 up. Newark kept battling and a quick pass from Simon Higgs found Luke Pearce free in the D and a first time shot went under the keeper for Newark’s second goal. Newark had other chances to get another goal with the best going to Simon Higgs who after rounding the keeper was pushed to wide and his shot went well wide. However a much better performance in the 2nd half kept Sutton Coldfield from scoring any more goals. M.O.M:- Luke Pearce

Ladies 1s

Newark Ladies 1s had a tough double header at the weekend as they took on fellow table toppers University of Nottingham on Saturday and then Nottingham Players on Sunday.

Without vice-captain Laura Donaldson, the team took the field against a strong university side who were fit and fast. The team were coping well with the opposition and had a couple of opportunities to put the visitors under pressure. Welcoming back Millie Hill, Newark had options but nothing quite came off until Hannah Coe put a very weak ball into the corner of the goal, and the goalkeeper thought the ball was going wide.

However, University hit back with two quality penalty corner goals to lead 2-1 at the break. In the second half the discipline of Newark left them as Kate Lambert was sin-binned for 15 minutes and Becky Wells for 2 minutes.

Newark had to work hard to keep University at bay and thankfully the visitors seemed to think they had the match all sown up. However the flow of play was only toward their own goal. A penalty corner gave Newark hope, and on the second time of asking captain Katie Sandell hammered the ball home to even the match. Newark threw everything left at University but with time running out it wasn't to be and both teams settled for a draw, as they had done in the reverse fixture. P​layer: Hannah Coe ​ On Sunday Newark took to the field with a very similar team, and just watched the Ladies 2s play out a thrilling draw with Manning. Taking on the top of the table team should have inspired the Ladies 1s to an easy victory but it was anything but.

Despite getting the ball across the line, the first goal for Newark was not given, and this seemed to put the team to sleep rather than wake them up. Millie Hill was the inspiration again as she ran back to the half way line and stole the ball from Players, only to run back towards goal and picked out Hannah Coe who slotted the ball home. Again rather than push on from this, Newark were caught napping and a sloppy goal from Players made the game even at the break.

In the second half, Newark had plenty of penalty corners but couldn't capitalise on them, and it took a bit of magic from two of the younger players to give Newark the three points they desperately needed. Becky Wells picked up the ball in midfield, drove at the defence and passed to Dani Ashwell. Her first shot was blocked by the 'keeper but she had another bite of the cherry and her second shot hit the back of the net.

Whilst the job of securing points was achieved, Newark will have to do better in the coming weeks to secure promotion. ​Player: Georgia Andrews​

Ladies 2s

Newark Ladies 2s started their double weekend at home against Aztecs on Saturday. New training jackets supplied by sponsor Sims Metal Management kept the full squad of 15 dry during the warm up and toasty during the rotations off the pitch.

Newark started at a good pace, Hannah Laughton running the left wing and Shanade Bradley on the right created space in the middle for Sophie Chambers to enjoy, linking up well with Vicky McMunn supported by Susan Tate and Mel Woods in the midfield. Newark soon earned a penalty corner followed by a few more but were denied by the opposition keeper. Newark’s break finally came from a wonderful team goal, Vicky picked the pass from Sophie on the left, changed direction and sent the ball back across to Mel who fired it into the D across goal for Hannah who placed it perfectly for Shanade to put firmly away for the lead! Newark were clearly thrilled but also cautious to protect their lead this time and the momentum had to be kept up. The effort from the Newark Ladies was apparent and mistakes started to show, luckily an abundance of substitutes meant the girls could have a break and regroup. Aztecs equalised before half-time against the run of play following a penalty corner retake and a Newark player sent to the half-way line.

Newark started the second half in the same high tempo as the first. As the game progressed the players accuracy decreased somewhat and the umpire started finding his cards for various stick tackle offences – for both sides! Newark had more chances via penalty corners created by excellent runs by Sophie and Hannah but, similar to the previous week against North Notts, they wouldn’t convert. Aztecs scored an excellent penalty corner strike to go ahead but Newark were still enjoying most of the possession and making better decisions to maintain hold. Newark went down to 10 (wo)men following another card but in the excitement Coach McMunn sent a sub on who had to quickly depart the playing field for being an illegal addition! Aztecs went on the break and scored their third from the floor and finally bagged all 3 points with a fourth close to the end. Despite the result it was a very positive performance from Newark. Thanks to the home