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Promotions confirmed for Newmarket, Mildenhall & Red Lodge and Haverhill & District Rugby Clubs




Newmarket, Mildenhall & Red Lodge and Haverhill & District will all be playing rugby at a higher level next season after the Eastern Counties Rugby Union finalised league tables for the 2019/20 season.

Like other sports, rugby has been halted by the coronavirus pandemic and with no return date in sight, it was recently decided that all campaigns at a semi-professional level should end with immediate effect.

Eastern Counties have used a winning percentage formula to calculate positions and while that was only enough for Newmarket to finish third in the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1 Shield, second-placed Sudbury II are not permitted to go up due to the ruling that states only first XVs can play at level eight or higher.

RUGBY: Newmarket v Cantabs II .Christophe Dupont running with the ball.(scored three tries). Picture by Mark Westley. (33309032)
RUGBY: Newmarket v Cantabs II .Christophe Dupont running with the ball.(scored three tries). Picture by Mark Westley. (33309032)

Therefore, it is Scaltback-based Newmarket who will join champions Norwich Union in London 3 Eastern Counties next term (see next week's Journal print edition for reaction).

Elsewhere, Mildenhall & Red Lodge have been rubber stamped as Eastern Counties Greene King 2 West champions and will move up to the level vacated by Newmarket.

And they will be joined by Haverhill & District, who finished in the runner-up position (see next week's Echo print edition for reaction).

RUGBY: Mildenhall & Red Lodge v Haverhill Picture Mark Westley. (33309090)
RUGBY: Mildenhall & Red Lodge v Haverhill Picture Mark Westley. (33309090)

There is also cause for celebration at Thurston II after they were confirmed champions of Greene King Eastern Counties 3 South and subsequently promoted, while Diss II will remain in Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1 Plate despite securing top spot.

Like their Sudbury counterparts, that is due to the fact that only first teams are permitted to play at level eight or higher.