An excellent first-half spell was the highlight of another disappointing away defeat for injury-hit Newark, 39-12 to Ashbourne, that left them seventh in Midlands Division Two East (North).
Rob Dunning's try levelled the scores for Newark in the first half.
Newark, who have won two of nine league matches on their travels, lost lock Jonny Statham in the first five minutes with a back injury.
Centre Dan Mackie went off ten minutes later after he was hurt in a tackle.
Despite the disruption, Newark fought back from conceding an early try and levelled through prop Rob Dunning, who went over from a well-worked drive at a line-out.
However, after getting back to 5-5, Newark trailed 22-5 at half-time as Ashbourne scored three tries.
Both captains received a yellow card in the second half before Newark briefly raised hopes of a fightback by grabbing a try.
A high kick ahead led to the score for flanker Ed Poulson after lock Mikey Boyd pounced on the home full-back to grab possession.
The try should have given Newark heart at 22-12, but the final quarter was disappointing as Ashbourne continued their promotion push by securing victory.
The home side scored three further tries, thriving on defensive lapses and, on one occasion, the concession of 30 metres for back-chatting the referee.
Newark’s next league match is at home against Coalville on Saturday, March 25. Newark 2nds
defeated Ashbourne 2nds 48-0. A combined Newark 3rd and 4th team
lost 106-0 against a Mellish representative side. Newark under-17s
are through to the Midlands final of the bowl section of the National Age Group competition.
They will host Sutton Coldfield on March 26 with a place in the national semi-final at stake.
Newark beat Birmingham and Solihull 27-5 in the Midlands semi-final.
Will Helliwell, who went over for two tries, scored 17 points.
Newark led 15-0 at half-time with Helliwell the only scorer.
Second-half tries came from Jago Onians and James Brogden.
Jacob Pearson and James Stimson in the front row led a strong performance from the pack.
West Bridgford 6 Southwell 13
Mark Layfield gave a man-of-the-match display to earn Southwell the double over West Bridgford in Midlands Division Two East (North).
He scored the only try in the second-half to seal a 12th league victory.
Captain George Machin said: “We are pleased to get the win.
“West Bridgford tried hard to disrupt our game.
“It was not a great game to watch, but to get the double over West Bridgford and Newark in the same season is very pleasing.
“I’m particularly happy with the way we kept our discipline. It looks as though we are building momentum at the right time.”
After Southwell were level at 3-3 at half-time, Layfield scored the crucial try by running through after being played in by Machin. Paul Rich converted the try and kicked two penalties.
Southwell travel to Paviors of Midlands Division One East in the semi-final of the Notts Cup on Saturday. Southwell 2nds
beat Dronfield 2nds 33-13 and Southwell 3rds defeated Castle Donington 24-14.