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Martyn Wall delighted after seeing Newmarket RUFC win the Eastern Counties League 1 West title

Martyn Wall says Newmarket RUFC have shown ‘amazing fighting spirit and character’ to win the Eastern Counties League 1 West title, writes Alex Moss.

PROUD COACH: Martyn Wall
PROUD COACH: Martyn Wall

It has been a remarkable turnaround for the Elizabeth Avenue-based club, who finished bottom of the pile in the London Division Three Eastern Counties table last season.

Saturday’s 25-20 comeback win away at title rivals Cottenham Renegades saw Newmarket finish six points clear at the top, ahead of facing the other top-two sides in the Eastern Counties 1 leagues in the second half of the season.

And Wall, who was appointed head coach last summer, along with director of rugby Pete Boyle, says the club should enjoy the success that has been achieved.

“It was a really hard, attritional game on Saturday,” Wall said. “We were 13-3 down at half-time, but I still had the belief that we would come back into it.

“It has been a massive effort from everyone and it’s a massive step forward for the club.

“To win the league is a real feather in the cap, and I said to the lads they should enjoy this success.

“It’s down to the amazing fighting spirit and character the players have shown.”

The winner-takes-all clash against Cottenham at the weekend looked to be going only one way, as the hosts raced into a 13-0 lead in the first half.

But tries from Harry Robbins (two) and Dan Johnson, coupled with two penalties and two conversions by Michael Reeves, completed a memorable win which secured Newmarket top spot.

“Our main priority at the start of the season was to finish in the top half, so to finish top in the first division, if you like, is a real sign the club is going in the right direction.

“Every person at the club has played their part and the support we have been getting from the town has been phenomenal. It’s been like having a 16th man.”

Newmarket will be joined in the soon-to-be-formed Eastern Counties 1 Shield by Cottenham, Hadleigh, Colchester III, Beccles and either North Walsham II or Norwich Union.

Newmarket will carry over the points won from their two games against Cottenham, with fixtures against the other sides still to be finalised ahead of the league starting next month.