Newmarket slip to home defeat to early pacesetters Crusaders

Rugby: Newmarket v Crusaders'Tom Peacock (scrum cap), Sam Hillary (falling backwards), Adam Elmer, Harvey Bell, Michael Reeves.'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150510-215007009
Rugby: Newmarket v Crusaders'Tom Peacock (scrum cap), Sam Hillary (falling backwards), Adam Elmer, Harvey Bell, Michael Reeves.'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150510-215007009

GREENE KING IPA

EASTERN COUNTIES

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

Newmarket 7 Crusaders 37

Newmarket’s winless start to the season continued after they slipped to a 37-7 home defeat to early pacesetters Crusaders on Saturday.

It may have been Newmarket’s third defeat in a row, but the match was nonetheless a turning point for the young team.

Despite the loss of their head coach Steve Drawbridge during last week, and the continued problems with injuries to the experienced regulars, Newmarket put up a spirited performance that surprised their opponents.

Newmarket had the opportunity to open the scoring from a penalty in the first seven minutes, but just failed to get the ball between the posts.

Crusaders then scored three tries, converting one, to take a 17 point lead.

Then in the 34th minute Newmarket scored a well-worked try with Sam Hillary getting a touch down that he will no doubt treasure, before the ever-reliable Michael Reeves converted the try.

By half-time the score was 22-7 to the visitors, although it must be said that Newmarket had enjoyed a good share of possession and were making the Crusaders work hard.

In the second-half Crusaders added a further 10 points to their total, but Newmarket dug deep and had an excellent period of play in their opponents half, and only just failed to score at least two tries.

Crusaders were able to get a quick try in the final minutes of the match to win 37-7.

Newmarket’s interim head coach Ali Walker reflected on the defeat: “The intensity of our play in the last 15 minutes was phenomenal.

“Yes, it’s disappointing to lose, but the team has clearly demonstrated that we have the ability to play great rugby. We have a great platform on which to build.”