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Depleted side suffer a heavy away defeat to league leaders

A depleted Newmarket side were given a 69-0 thrashing on Saturday by a well drilled Beccles team in the second of their two meetings this month.

Newmarket (3rd) travelled to the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1 Shield leaders Beccles looking to close the gap on second-placed Hadleigh but were instead forced to watch it widen with the heavy defeat – while Hadleigh won.

They are next in action on Saturday (3pm), away to Norwich Union (4th) with the winner taking – or consolidating – third position in their penultimate match of the season. Newmarket will face Hadleigh in the final week with second spot still achievable.

Newmarket rugby club V Beecles rugby club Max Bell Picture Mark Westley. (8206383)
Newmarket rugby club V Beecles rugby club Max Bell Picture Mark Westley. (8206383)

The visitors had started the match well and, in fact, for the first 14 minutes Newmarket held its own and kept Beccles in the centre of the park.

But, on the quarter hour mark, the home side found a way through and its wingers discovered the line for the first of the many tries on the day.

This pattern of exploiting space out wide would continue for much of the match and, with the Beccles kicker on form, the winning margin kept increasing.

The scoreline did not, however, reflect the effort which Newmarket put into its game. What it did reflect was the difficulties the team face without its core players who play week in, week out.

Undoubtedly, Newmarket missed club captain Max Bell and his darting runs and never-give-up attitude. The side also missed regular scrum-half Harvey Bell who does so much of the team’s bidding.

But, on the bright side, Tom Tallant, Tom Wood and Jamie Judd had good runs out. Peter Boyle, who was not fully fit, was on the bench with strict instructions that he would only play as a last resort but, due to injuries, was required to take to the field for the final 15 minutes or so.

As the points clicked by, the majority of the team kept their heads up although one or two players were unable to, and it is hoped they will learn from the painful experience.

By half-time, with the score at 31-0, there was hope of a Scotland-style comeback but, by five minutes from the end, Newmarket found themselves 62-0 down as they found the second period as tough.

Newmarket had a few good attacks and a disallowed try which was hotly disputed by the spectators.

The club were pleased to see the support away from home and wanted to thank those that made the trip.

The club added that ‘Steve Robbins’ offer to give the players a bonus to make the comeback was, perhaps to his relief, not needed’.