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Newmarket up to third in Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1 Shield after victory over Norwich Union

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Newmarket moved up to third in the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties 1 Shield table after getting back to winning ways at the weekend.

LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Captain Max Bell scored a try in Saturday’s win
LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Captain Max Bell scored a try in Saturday’s win

In an enjoyable, but occasionally worrying match for the home spectators, Newmarket prevailed 22-14 against Norwich Union to pick up their first victory of the second phase of the season.

On the half-hour mark, full back Harry Robbins made one of his exciting runs and touched down to open the scoring. Michael Reeves converted to give Newmarket a 7-0 lead.

Five minutes later and Norwich claimed a try back, with the conversion hitting the post on its way through to draw the visitors level.

This seemed to spur Newmarket into action, and the hosts finally started to play their normal pattern.

A great passing move culminated with a darting run by Max Bell, the captain touching down for another five points.

At half time, with the score at 12-7, the statistics showed that Norwich had had the territorial majority, but had failed to take advantage.

Newmarket, on the other hand, did not seem to have had as much ball, but when they did, made it count.

The home side started the second half determined to readdress the territorial battle, and immediately attacked the Norwich line.

Intense pressure resulted in the visitors conceding a penalty, which Reeves stylishly kicked to make it 15-7.

With 10 minutes to go, Michael Palmer made a lovely breakaway and sprinted off to touch down and score.

Reeves converted and Newmarket were 22-7 ahead, but in the last moments of the match Norwich rallied to claim back a converted try to finish eight points behind.

Newmarket now sit third in the Shield table, four points behind new leaders Beccles, who they host for their next fixture on March 2.

Beccles took hold of top spot after beating previous leaders Hadleigh 47-15.