Prepared: Ian Gilchrist
Checked: Geoff Killingsworth
Sleaford was always going to be a tight game between two evenly matched sides, and so it proved to be.
On a day more suited to summer rugby league and the ground hard as rock Newark started well and put Sleaford under pressure from the kick off. The backs worked really well with some superb distribution from number 10 George Stewart and strong running from the rest of the back line. Two slick moves within a short while saw winger Jamie Graham break tackles to go over the line in the corner twice only to be denied the touchdown by some ferocious defending from Sleaford, in fact defence from both sides was outstanding and it was only after 21 minutes of the half that Newark pressure forced a penalty just outside the Sleaford 22 which George Stewart converted only to have Sleaford return the favour after we handled in the ruck in front of our posts 6 minutes later,
3 - 3 at half time.
After a much needed rest and a lot of water the 2nd half started as quickly as the 1st.
After two minutes Sleaford started a promising attack from their own 22 when the final pass was intercepted by Newark outside centre David Wilson on Sleaford's 10m line who showed a great turn of pace to outstrip the chasers and score near the posts. An uncharacteristic miss by George Stewart (no one could find the 'T') left us with with a nail biting heart pumping 3 - 8 lead.
There was pressure from both sides and Sleaford never gave up the chase in fact it was only a crunching try saving tackle by Newark no8, Josh Killingsworth that put the certain try scorer touch in goal.
Newark maintained possession in the final minutes of the game with some superb line-out work, at which Harry Cotton and Morgan Robinson were outstanding, and when Geoerge Stewart kicked the ball out for the final whistle it was a great relief for players and spectators alike.
It was a fitting end and well deserved win for these lads final game to-gether, some who had been tean mates since under 7's. Hopefully, it is only be the beginning of their senior rugby careers.