Drawbridge looks at the positives after Ely thrashing

TOUGH GOING: Newmarket scrum-half Harvey Bell on the ball following a maul involving Matt Dyer (scrum hat) and Michael Reeves (centre)

TOUGH GOING: Newmarket scrum-half Harvey Bell on the ball following a maul involving Matt Dyer (scrum hat) and Michael Reeves (centre)

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GREENE KING IPA

EASTERN COUNTIES

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

Ely 105 Newmarket 3

Newmarket head coach Steve Drawbridge insists his side have improved despite being thrashed 105-3 by Ely in their latest Division One outing.

After suffering a whitewash 53-0 defeat at Thetford in their opening game of the new season, Newmarket conceded more than 100 points to their local rivals to remain adrift at the bottom of the table.

“The team are bound to feel disappointed but I believe we have the resolve to bounce back,” Drawbridge said.

“Unfortunately we sustained too many injuries and the remaining players tired as our numbers 
dropped.

“On the positive we played with purpose side we played with purpose and pattern and I have no doubt that with commitment from every member of the squad we will improve.”

There is no denying that a final score of 105-3 to Ely is a massive defeat for Newmarket, but perhaps it will help put things into context to note that Drawbridge’s side played half the match two players down.

Newmarket opened the scoring with a penalty in the first two minutes, before the home side responded two minutes later with a converted try.

The score remained 7-3 until the 16th minute when Ely scored again, and then continued to score at an ever-increasing rate, finishing with a total of 15 tries which were all converted to complete an emphatic win for their first game.

With several first team regulars injured, Drawbridge called up players from the development squad, who gallantly stepped into the breach and gave a spirited performance.

Ben Pugsley was injured after 10 minutes which added to the continuing injury crisis in the front row and the ability to give any kind of platform from which to play at the breakdown or compete at the set piece.

Danny Brooks made a welcome return, but in the second-half took a knock to the knee and had to leave the pitch, with Peter Boyle and Joe Shipp also giving their all and succumbing to injuries which prevented them from returning for the rest of the match.