Newmarket get sweet revenge on Thetford for a heavy defeat

UNDER PRESSURE: Chris Alleyne keeps hold of the ball while being held by a Thetford player
UNDER PRESSURE: Chris Alleyne keeps hold of the ball while being held by a Thetford player

Newmarket gained sweet revenge on a Thetford side, who delivered an humiliating defeat to the Scaltback-based outfit earlier in the season.

When the two met at Thetford’s Mundford Road ground on November 15, the Norfolk hosts ran out crushing 50-12 victors.

However, Newmarket reversed that embarrassment on this occasion to hold on to third place in the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties League Division One table with a 20-15 success.

The hosts were able to welcome back the experienced trio of Ali Walker, Steve Green and captain Liam Cocks, together again for the first time since mid-November.

With their first real visit into the Thetford half, the hosts were ahead.

Max Bell surged through the defensive line and offloaded to the supporting Cockerton, who crashed over carrying defenders with him. Mike Reeves knocked over the extras to give Newmarket a 7-0 lead.

The game continued in a topsy-turvy fashion with mistakes aplenty as both defences were on top and, when Reeves ran out of options around him, the second row slotted a drop goal to extend the advantage to 10-0.

Thetford hit back with a penalty of their own, but Walker marked his return to the side with a trademark pick and drive from number eight, carrying a couple of backs with him before dotting down.

Reeves was spot on again with the conversion.

The lead was almost immediately reduced as Thetford hit back just before half-time to ensure the game was finely poised at the break with Newmarket holding a 17-10 lead.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first with play moving from end to end without either side really creating any good chances and instead relying on the referee’s whistle to make or lose ground. From one such penalty, Reeves increased the lead by three to 20-10.

With time running out, Walker found time to be given a short break in the bin and Thetford used the numerical advantage to score with the final play of the game and reduce the gap to 20-15.

Man of the match: James Payne.