GREENE KING IPA
EASTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE
Newmarket restarted their 2015 league programme by avenging their heavy defeat at Wymondham earlier in the season with a last-gasp win.
As in previous weeks, there were the usual raft of personnel changes on Saturday and with so many late changes Newmarket were never going to be fluid in attack.
However, they fronted up and managed to stay in touch with Wymondham throughout the game, which ultimately provided the opportunity for victory at the death.
Newmarket were first on the scoresheet within a minute as Mike Reeves galloped on to Tom Peacock’s charge down and converted his own try for a 7-0 lead.
Wymondham hit back midway through the half, but with the conversion missed Newmarket retained a two-point advantage.
Both sides exchanged further converted tries in the next 10 minutes – first Newmarket’s front row of Daniele Terenzi, Ray Richardson and Ben Wells were rewarded for their tireless work all afternoon with a penalty try at a scrum before an immediate lapse in concentration allowed Wymondham to hit back and reduce the deficit to 14-12.
Wymondham were not finished and they managed to turn their extra possession into a lead just on the stroke of half-time with a try and conversion giving the visitors a 19-14 lead at the break as Newmarket were guilty of some weak tackling to allow the score.
In a tight contest, Newmarket conceded a raft of unexplained penalties in the first five minutes of the half, eventually resulting in a Wymondham penalty kick to extent their advantage to 22-14.
Despite the visitors enjoying more territory and possession, they were unable to add to this score in the 30 minutes that followed.
Newmarket rallied in the final minutes and, after opting to kick a penalty to the corner in lieu of taking the penalty kick to reduce the deficit, they were rewarded when Richard Harper powered over from close range and Reeves knocked over the tricky conversion to bring the game back within a point at 22-21.
The hosts were not satisfied with the losing bonus point and surged forward once more to win a penalty just within kickable range.
The reliable and seemingly-ageless Reeves stepped up and judged the wind perfectly to slot home the kick.
There was less than a minute left and all New-market had to do was gather the restart and maintain possession for a couple of phases.
Wymondham had other ideas and managed to force a penalty chance at the first breakdown,— it was a long way out and fortunately for Newmarket was out of range for the kicker.
Fittingly, the ball fell to Reeves, who gathered and smashed it off the pitch to give Newmarket a victory, which just 20 minutes earlier had seemed unlikely.