Newmarket squander first-half lead at Crusaders

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EASTERN COUNTIES

GREENE KING LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE

Crusaders 21

Newmarket 17

Newmarket lost ground on third-placed Crusaders after narrowly losing out to the Norfolk side on Saturday.

Yet, there was no indication of what was to come as the visitors took a 10-0 lead into the break.

Newmarket’s bright start was rewarded by a Max Bell try, before Spencer Pettit grounded to extend their advantage, though neither of those efforts were converted.

However, the tide turned in the second half when, after holding out for 10 minutes, Crusaders reduced the arrears with a converted try.

Eight minutes after that a second converted try came as the home team went four points in front, with another seven points added moments later.

At this point, the Newmarket players had little option but to dig deep, and they started putting the phases together.

Pettit, from a little tap and go, charged through the Crusaders’ ranks to score in the 66th minute.

Michael Reeves stroked the conversion between the posts to bring the away team back into contention, but despite applying some late pressure, they were unable to take anything from the contest.

The win stretched the gap between Crusaders and Newmarket in fourth to seven points ahead of the latter’s home clash with seventh-placed Thurston on Saturday (3pm).