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Newmarket hit the summit




Newmarket hit the summit of the Eastern Counties League Greene King 1 West standings following Saturday’s 40-10 home win over March Bears.

RUGBY: Newmarket v March Danny Boyle Picture Mark Westley. (4336725)
RUGBY: Newmarket v March Danny Boyle Picture Mark Westley. (4336725)

It marked a third victory in a row for recently-relegated Newmarket, who have racked up a total of 14 points so far in 2018/19.

However, the Scaltback side did not get off to the best of starts, conceding a penalty after three minutes and a converted try seven minutes later as March opened up a 10-point advantage.

Newmarket’s response was positive, though, and after 25 minutes Dan Johnson crashed over, with Michael Reeves adding the extras.

And Reeves was back in the thick of the action just before the break when he converted his own try, which sent Newmarket into the break with a 14-10 advantage.

RUGBY: Newmarket v March Dan Johnson Picture Mark Westley. (4336717)
RUGBY: Newmarket v March Dan Johnson Picture Mark Westley. (4336717)

From the restart the hosts were in the ascendancy and they made it count in the 55th minute thanks to a try from captain Max Bell, followed by a successful Reeves conversion.

Ten minutes later Simon Guenigault showed an impressive turn of speed to dot down between the posts, although on this occasion Reeves’ radar went awry and he was off target with the kick that followed.

Now with the bit between their teeth, Newmarket added another five points to their tally when Bell scored his second try of the match, with Conner Croxon converting on this occasion.

Guenigault followed suit soon after to claim his second try after Johnson had powered through the middle.

RUGBY: Newmarket v March Simon Guenigault Picture Mark Westley. (4336726)
RUGBY: Newmarket v March Simon Guenigault Picture Mark Westley. (4336726)

Those two tries brought up the bonus point for scoring four or more in a match, followed by another Croxton conversion to add another bit of gloss to the final scoreline.

Head coach Martyn Wall said: “It is another win, although it was a bit of a scrappy game punctuated by penalties and infringements.

“Still, to go 10-0 down and come back to win 40-10 was a real show of character and fighting spirit in the squad.

“Also, the fitness levels of the team are evident and we were able to sustain a strong performance for the full 80 minutes.”

Next up for Newmarket on Saturday afternoon is a home encounter against Shelford III (3pm).

Just one point separates table-topping Newmarket from their second-placed visitors heading into the encounter, with both teams having opened up the new campaign with three victories apiece.

Shelford go into the weekend’s fixture having recorded a narrow 21-14 victory over neighbouring Cambridge III last time out.