RFU JUNIOR VASE
Old Cooperians 44
The Vase has provided a happy hunting ground for Newmarket over the years, but they exited the competition at the second round stage in a high-scoring encounter with Old Cooperians.
Newmarket started brightly, getting the better of the opening exchanges as Josh Parry wriggled his way over and Jack Wade followed up his touchline conversion with a long-range penalty to give the hosts a 10-0 lead.
As the visitors began to get into the game they looked dangerous with the ball in hand and after earning a simple penalty they struck with four unanswered tries, three of which came from turnovers inside their own half with quick breaks and excellent support play to reap rewards.
At 29-10 down, Newmarket managed to salvage some hope from the half with a powerful score from Lee Allen, who had clearly fitted his catching attachments this week, taking the first of his two tries well and looking solid under the high ball.
Jack Wade kicked the conversion to reduce the arrears to 29-17 at half-time.
Newmarket’s instructions at the interval were to reduce the amount of turnovers conceded in contact and maintain possession through the phases, preventing Old Cooperians from obtaining the ball in broken field because they had demonstrated in the first half their abundant abilities in this situation.
Although the away side scored first through a penalty, Newmarket managed to retain possession and exert pressure for the next 20 minutes, which to its credit held firm for a long period.
Eventually Lee Allen scored his second try of the game and with Wade’s third conversion the deficit was reduced to 32-24 and there was hope for the home side.
However, Old Cooperians put the game to bed in the next two passages of play, meaning Robbie Holland’s late converted try was mere consolation.