LONDON DIVISION THREE
Despite getting 2018 off to a losing start, Newmarket still came away from their home clash against Crusaders on Saturday with some bonus points.
The hosts picked up the first of their two extra points for running in four tries, while the other came courtesy of the fact they finished within seven points of the victorious visitors.
Having beaten Crusaders earlier in September — one of just two wins for the Suffolk side this term — the hope was that the new year would be marked with a third victory.
However, the away team started with real purpose and by the 12th minute they had opened up a 14-point lead with two converted tries.
Newmarket rallied and in the 18th minute Dan Johnson charged over the line to score, but Crusaders regained control just before the break with another try to go in 19-5 in front.
Another Crusaders try followed in the 47th minute, before a Max Bell try — converted by Michael Reeves — reduced the deficit to 26-12.
Two more tries, which were accompanied by accurate kicking from Reeves, soon drew Newmarket level as the hosts looked to be the favourites to go on and win.
Yet, with just five minutes remaining it was Crusaders that ran in the decisive converted try to establish a lead that on this occasion they would not relinquish.
On Saturday second-from-bottom Newmarket head to Norfolk to take on fourth-placed Holt (2pm).
Holt won the reverse fixture by a 52-22 margin when the sides met earlier in the campaign.