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Newmarket Rugby Club secure promotion back to London 3 Eastern Counties

Newmarket Rugby Club’s head coach Martyn Wall believes his side’s promotion is just reward for their hard work throughout the 2019/20 campaign.

Under the Rugby Football Union’s formula to finalise the coronavirus-halted league tables, Newmarket finished outside of the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1 Shield promotion places in third spot.

However, with second-placed Sudbury II unable to move up the ladder due to their first team playing at level eight or higher, the Eastern Counties Rugby Union offered Newmarket the opportunity to join champions Norwich Union in next term’s London 3 Eastern Counties.

RUGBY: Newmarket v Cottenham Newmarket Rugby team.Picture by Mark Westley. (33444880)
RUGBY: Newmarket v Cottenham Newmarket Rugby team.Picture by Mark Westley. (33444880)

The Scaltback-based outfit had just beaten Sudbury prior to the virus pandemic lockdown, and still had Norwich – with whom they were locked on the same points at the top – to face twice.

And with that in mind, Wall is confident that his men were already well on course for promotion.

“It is nice to have some closure one way or the other and I am glad the right outcome has been reached,” he said.

“We set winning promotion as our main goal at the start of the season, so it is pleasing to have achieved that.

“We were never complacent, but we had just beaten Sudbury and with Norwich to play, we were confident we would kick on and complete the job.”

While those connected with the club are delighted to have realised their season’s goal, the current situation prevents everyone from coming together to celebrate the achievement.

It may be some time before that is possible, but Wall is eager for it to be recognised whenever the opportunity arises.

“We understandably cannot celebrate, but as soon as we can we need to have an awards night. It is important we mark this achievement,” he added.

“The players have worked so hard. They have been committed and there have been some big improvements – they deserve the recognition.”

Promotion will see Newmarket return to London 3 Eastern Counties for the first time since 2017/18, when they finished rock bottom and were relegated.

This time around, though, Wall is confident his team will be much more competitive.

“Our results show we are ready to make the step up,” he said. “We are thriving as a club and are excited to be kicking on.

“It will be great to test ourselves, and I think we will cope well.”