Newmarket Rugby Club forced to cancel another game

CALL OFF: Newmarket could not raise another players to take on Woodbridge
CALL OFF: Newmarket could not raise another players to take on Woodbridge

They had hoped last month’s cancellation would be a one-off, but Newmarket Rugby Club are now reflecting on a second match falling by the wayside.

Injuries and a general lack of player availability forced the Scaltback side to pull out of their London League Division Three match at Holt on January 13, though a number of squad members still made the trip to fulfil a friendly fixture.

At the time player-chairman Harvey Bell was confident the club would not have to take a similar decision again this term, but further unavailability meant Saturday’s trip to Woodbridge had to be called off.

Unlike the previous situation, Newmarket did not travel for a friendly and so by the letter of the law are likely to be hit with a points deduction, though they are yet to hear anything official on that front.

“We put up a big fight against the league leaders Southwold a couple of weeks ago and picked up some injuries to our regulars,” said Bell.

“If we lose those type of players, it is always going to be hard to field a team.

“They might have been able to patch themselves up, but then the injury gets worse and we might lose them for the rest of the season.

“As with Holt it was a very disappointing call to have to make — we did not want to do it.

“But we had to look at the bigger picture. Thankfully, our February schedule is quite light and that should allow some of the injured players to rest up a bit and get back fit.”

Newmarket now have six matches left to play this term, starting with a home derby against Ely on February 17.

Bell is eager for each fixture to go ahead, particularly with four of them on home soil.

“We have had meetings with the head coaches and the senior committee to talk things through,” he added.

“There have also been some conversations with the players to get their feedback.

“There are six games remaining and we are going to take every one as it comes.

“We are very hopeful that the majority of the injuries will have recovered by the time the Ely match rolls around.

“After that we have Wisbech away and we beat them last year, so hopefully we can go over there and give another good account ourselves.”

It has been a tough campaign for second-from-bottom Newmarket, who have just two victories to their name.

• On a more positive note, the club’s younger sides were in good form at the weekend.

Newmarket Under-15s ran out 60-22 winners over Ipswich, while Colts defeated Lowestoft & Yarmouth 17-13.