Newmarket Rugby Club get the better of Eastern Counties Greene King 1 West champions Cottenham Renegades
Newmarket ensured they would have five points to take with them into the second phase of the season by becoming the first side to get the better of Cottenham Renegades on Saturday.
While the hosting Renegades had already secured the first-phase Eastern Counties Greene King 1 West title, the fact that the points gained in the matches between the division’s top two sides carried forward ensured that there was still plenty to play for.
Cottenham had gotten the better of Newmarket on the opening day of the campaign, but this time the roles were reversed as the visitors triumphed 29-28.
Newmarket started the match on the attack and within four minutes they were seven points ahead after Harry Robbins raced down the wing to score a fine touchdown, with Tom Clifton adding the extras.
And within seven minutes, the away team were 14 points to the good via the same combination. On this occasion Robbins dotted down between the posts to present Clifton with a routine conversion.
At this point Newmarket were enjoying the majority of possession and territory, but Cottenham fought back and by the break they had levelled up the scoreline with two converted tries of their own.
Ten minutes after the restart Newmarket regained the lead through scrum-half Harvey Bell, who surged through a crowd of players.
However, Cottenham responded and soon got themselves in front for the first time thanks to their third converted try of proceedings.
Newmarket rallied, though, and after one opportunity from a penalty went begging, a second was awarded minutes later and this time Clifton made no mistake to put his team 22-21 in front.
The encounter was now starting to resemble a basketball match and so it was little surprise when Cottenham went up the other end with time running out to add another converted try to take a 28-22 advantage.
But just when it appeared the game was up for Newmarket, five minutes from time they won a scrum on the Cottenham 5-metre line and tight head prop Daniele Terzeni crashed over to move the visitors to within a point. It left Clifton with the chance to win the match and he duly obliged with a kick that sailed between the posts.
Newmarket are without a game this weekend, with their return to action scheduled for February 1 when Cambridge III will be their visitors in the Cambridgeshire Cup semi-finals.
More by this authorLiam Apicella