Newmarket lose 36-19 to Hadleigh in first game of Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One Shield
Newmarket began their Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One Shield campaign with a 36-19 defeat at league leaders Hadleigh.
The final score was somewhat flattering to the home side as, at one point, Newmarket had pulled themselves to within three points of their opponents, but in the final 10 minutes Hadleigh pulled away to complete a well-deserved win.
The match was a stop-start affair and from the whistle, Newmarket knew they would not have an easy time.
Despite having a three-week break for injured players to recover, several regulars were missing and the team needed some time to settle in.
For the first five minutes, the visitors had Hadleigh on the back line, but the leaders then broke away and scored a converted try.
Four minutes later Hadleigh scored again, with their number 11 scoring next to the line, which was too far out to be converted.
By the time the half time whistle was blown, Hadleigh had scored another five points to open up a 17-0 lead.
Two minutes into the second half, the hosts extended their lead with another try, before having a man in the bin three minutes later.
Newmarket made the most of it, with Michael Reeves scoring and converting to get the visitors on the scoreboard at 22-7.
Reeves repeated the feat 15 minutes later, scoring a lovely try by the post and then converting it, as Hadleigh’s lead was cut further to 22-14.
With the bit between their teeth, Newmarket set Harry Robbins, who had been calling for the ball out on the wing for some time, free with the ball.
He scored a try on the wing, which Reeves’ boot could not convert, but Newmarket were back in the match at 22-19.
Clearly stung by the erosion of their lead, Hadleigh moved up a gear to score, and convert, two more tries to run out 36-19 winners.
It was a disappointing result for Newmarket, which has seen them slip from second to fourth in the new table.
Martyn Wall’s charges host third-placed Norwich Union at The NSDA Pavilion today (2pm).