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Newmarket battle back for draw

Newmarket’s winning start to the new Eastern Counties League Greene King 1 West campaign ended on Saturday, though they still managed to claim a 10-10 draw from their trip to Saffron Walden II.

Newmarket rugby club v West Norfolk..Raymond Richardson..Picture Mark Westley. (4648246)
Newmarket rugby club v West Norfolk..Raymond Richardson..Picture Mark Westley. (4648246)

The encounter did not get off to the best of starts for the visitors, who lost the services of Conner Croxon within the opening two minutes to a head injury.

T he next 10 minutes turned scrappy until Newmarket’s Raymond Richardson – number eight for the day – managed to snuffle a try which in the tough weather conditions, went unconverted.

Now in the lead, the away team started to apply the pressure, only to suffer a setback in the 30th minute.

Jamie Judd was adjudged to have intentionally knocked on and was sent to the sin bin and Saffron Walden took advantage of the extra man to score their first try of proceedings.

More drama occurred for Newmarket at half-time when Peter Boyle, who had been kneed in the back earlier in the match, felt his leg start to go numb and had to leave the field, while Daniel Boyle, who had taken a blow to the head, also had to go off.

With three players off injured and only 17 available, it meant Newmarket started the second half with just 14 players.

And it took the hosts just three to capitalise on their numerical advantage with a second unconverted try.

But to Newmarket’s credit they responded positively and after Harry Robbins – making his debut – went close to scoring a try, Richardson went over for the second time to level the match.

Newmarket, who remain top of the table by a point, are without a fixture this weekend.