GREENE KING IPA EASTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Thetford 50 Newmarket 12: Understrength Newmarket were well and truly humbled on their travels by a young and well-drilled Thetford side on Saturday.
With a growing injury list — added to by Ali Walker and Pat Kearney failing fitness tests hours before the match — Newmarket travelled with 11 frontline players missing.
They hoped the return of James Payne and league debut of Tom Peacock would provide the boost required.
It was not to be and — along with a heavy defeat — further worrying injuries were picked up by Mike Reeves and Corentin Rosaire.
The game started in the worst possible fashion as Newmarket conceded three tries in the first five minutes as a clinical Thetford backline took full advantage of each chance to race into a 21-0 lead.
Newmarket eventually managed to maintain several passages of possession and were rewarded when Steve Green broke the line and offloaded to the supporting Owen Howes to score. Reeves kicked the conversion.
The lead was further reduced when Alasdair Davey dived over in the corner — with Reeves off injured, Payne missed the conversion.
However, there was still time for Thetford to extend their advantage to 24-12 just before the break .
Newmarket began to unravel after half-time as the fatigue of chasing shadows began to tell.
Thetford took full advantage, running in four further tries to record a resounding 50-12 win.
Despite the scoreline, there were solid performances from Stu Brand and Peacock and a standout shift in the front row from Daniele Terenzi.