Battling Mannerians lose out to leaders

Bakewell Mannerians v Newark Rugby
Bakewell Mannerians v Newark Rugby

Bakewell Mannerians 1sts 15

Newark 31

BAKEWELL suffered their first Midlands Two East (North) defeat of the season on Saturday in this table-topping clash with leaders Newark.

Mannerians were in determined mood and were keen to make things as tough for the visitors as possible.

They made the ideal start when two early penalty kicks from skipper Will Moroney opened up a 6-0 lead.

They then suffered a setback when Alistair Gregory had to be replaced, due to a knee injury. Pete Fearn came in on his place.

Newark started to get into the game and went over in the corner for an unconverted try to make the score 6-5 to Mannerians.

The Bakewell backs were producing some strong running, putting Newark under pressure. This tactic paid off when Moroney kicked his third penalty of the afternoon.

Bakewell were now pushing hard for that elusive try but the leaders were just keeping them at bay, despite the encouragement of a sizable home crowd. There was just time before the break for Moroney to kick his fourth penalty of the afternoon and make the score 12-5 at the interval.

Mannerians stood firm in the face of the expected onslaught at the start of the second half but Newark eventually got back onto the scoresheet with a penalty on 50 minutes.

Moroney instantly replied with a penalty of his own and the score stood at 15-8 to Mannerians with half an hour left.

Newark then kicked a penalty after an offside offence and although Mannerians were strong in defence, they were having trouble relieving the pressure in the face of attack after attack from the visitors.

The breakthrough finally came for Newark with a converted try on the hour mark that moved them three points in front.

A drop goal five minutes later extended the Newark lead to 21-15 and, despite gutsy Mannerians defence, the Nottinghamshire side added an unconverted try with ten minutes left.

There was still time for a late rally from Bakewell but this was somewhat nipped in the bud when by another Newark try, this time earning them a bonus point, to make it 31-15 as the game moved into the final four minutes.

But in the end, there was to be no comeback.

Despite Bakewell Mannerians having matched the league’s top side for much of the hard-fought encounter they came away empty-handed.