League champions have far too much for depleted Newmarket

ON HIS OWN: Newmarkets Harvey Bell suffers from a lack of support around him in Saturdays 62-5 defeat
ON HIS OWN: Newmarkets Harvey Bell suffers from a lack of support around him in Saturdays 62-5 defeat

LONDON DIVISION THREE

EASTERN COUNTIES

Newmarket 5 Thetford 62

A patched up Newmarket side who were grateful to committed coaches from the junior section donning their shirts, put in a brave display in a 10 tries to one defeat.

But despite the one-sided scoreline, the hosts, whom injury forced to finish with 14 men, still had the majority of the possession and territory during the final 20 minutes of the match.

Without doubt the weather on Saturday was the worse seen for many seasons with torrential rain having a huge impact on the ball handling and leading to numerous errors.

The omens were not good for Newmarket from the very start of the match. A lack of players was remedied by three committed coaches from the junior section, Pete Boyle, Martyn Wall and Jonny Brown, helping out.

Against last season’s Eastern Counties League Division One winner the team put up a spirited performance which improved as the match went on.

Within three minutes they were having to make a change though, when Michael Reeve incurred an injury.

Max Bell, who had started on the bench went on carrying an injury from last week. But not long after he was involved in a crunching tackle and had to come off.

The first half ended with Newmarket 29-0 behind.

Within a few minutes of the second half starting the hosts’ misery was compounded when Simon Guenigault had to retire from the field of play, and with no more substitutes they were down to 14 players.

To their credit, not once did the players’ heads drop and the players remaining, who had not played as a unit in a match before, put up a great performance.

In the 78th minute Dan Johnson, sprinting like a gazelle, nimbly touched down to score Newmarket’s only points of the match.

It leaves Newmarket looking to pick up their first victory of the season at the third attempt when they travel to Crusaders on Saturday (3pm). Their opponents have won one and lost one so far.