Newmarket give good account of themselves against leaders

HOME DEFEAT: Michael Reeves, who was among the tries, storms forward for Newmarket
HOME DEFEAT: Michael Reeves, who was among the tries, storms forward for Newmarket

GREENE KING

EASTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE

Newmarket 21

Thetford 32

Newmarket slipped to a defeat at home to table-toppers Thetford on Saturday, but they gave a much better account of themselves than when the sides met earlier in the season.

Back in September, Newmarket were comprehensively beaten 43-0 by their Norfolk opponents.

However, on this occasion they gave the leaders a scare before losing out by an 11-point margin.

Two early penalties put the visitors in front, but Newmarket responded in the 13th minute when hooker Sam Helson dotted down, with Tom Clifton adding the extras for a 7-6 lead.

As the half progressed, Thetford were awarded — and scored — two more penalties, leaving them 12-7 to the good at the interval.

Yet, within two minutes of the restart Newmarket were back in the ascendancy when Clifton converted Joe Stafford’s try.

Behind for a second time, Thetford moved through the gears, scoring two converted tries and two penalties to put the game out of reach, while Michael Reeves added a late try for Newmarket.

After the final whistle, head coach Dave Sayer said: “I am both pleased and disappointed. We scored three tries to two and still lost.

“The match was there for a win, but I feel Newmarket lost the game more than Thetford won it.”

“If Thetford are going on to be champions then we also know we can compete in a higher league.”

Sayer’s men (fifth) travel to ninth-placed Ipswich YM on Saturday (2pm).