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Positivity reigning at Newmarket Rugby Club after progress through to the semi-finals

After booking themselves a place in the semi-final of the Cambridgeshire Intermediate Cup at the weekend, head coach Martyn Wall is confident that exciting times are ahead for Newmarket Rugby Club.

Newmarket were 14 points down against a strong Bury St Edmunds III on Saturday, but a second-half turnaround ended in a 17-14 victory, which in turn secured a last four date with Cambridge III on February 1.

The Scaltback side are also going along nicely in the first phase of the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1 West, which they will clinch for a second season in a row if they triumph in their five remaining fixtures before the leagues are split.

RUGBY: Newmarket v Cottenham Newmarket Rugby team.Picture by Mark Westley. (23219479)
RUGBY: Newmarket v Cottenham Newmarket Rugby team.Picture by Mark Westley. (23219479)

It all means that Newmarket are very much on track in terms of their pre-season targets, and Wall believes that competition for places has been a major contributing factor.

“There is a real ethic breeding among the squad – they know every single one of them is going to be needed to make an impact,” said Wall.

“We have got some real strength in depth and whether a player is starting the match, finishing the match or not getting involved until the following week, they all have a role to play.

“Our level is not dropping whoever is starting and at times I have made seven or eight changes at half-time, which again does not have negative impact on our levels.

“We highlighted the cup as something that we wanted to win at the start of the season alongside promotion, so Saturday’s win hopefully bodes well for what we can achieve.

“The first phase of the league is on our hands and we came third in the second phase last year.

“We are aiming to go better than that this season and right now it is a really exciting time for the squad in the league and cup.”

On Saturday Newmarket are due to return to league action away at Shelford III, who were forced to call off the reverse fixture due to a lack of players.

That was one of three such cancellations for Wall’s team, but he is hoping that his men get some game time this weekend.

“They have cancelled on us already this season but we have to plan as though it is going ahead and concentrate on the game in hand,” he added.

“It will be another test but we will be taking a strong squad that are good enough to win the game.”

Second-placed Newmarket will be without the services of Michael Reeves for the trip to the Davey Field (2pm).