Newmarket move level on points at the top of Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One Shield after 30-25 victory at Sudbury II
Newmarket made it back-to-back wins in the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One Shield with a 30-25 victory away at Sudbury II on Saturday.
A beautifully sunny but blustery day in Great Cornard saw Newmarket pick up the full five points in an exciting match.
Throughout the game, the visiting side’s pack dominated the scrums. After 15 minutes, and a great passage of play from the backs, Harold Robbins picked up the ball on the Newmarket 22, beat three Sudbury players, streaked the pitch and touched down between posts.
Tom Clifton converted and Newmarket had a 7-0 lead.
The hosts made a strong restart and were awarded a penalty on the Newmarket 22m line in front of the posts, which they scored to cut the deficit to 7-3.
Newmarket’s playing chairman responded by blocking a Sudbury clearance kick and touching down for their second try to go 12-13 in front.
Another great drive from the visiting pack resulted in a run from Christophe Dupont, who kicked on for Freddie McKibben to take and then touch down.
The conversion was missed, but given the blustery conditions, it was not altogether surprising, and Newmarket now led 17-3.
At this point, Sudbury started a fightback and scored an unconverted try to close it to 17-8.
This was followed by a second try, which was converted, and as the half-time whistle arrived, Newmarket’s lead had been cut to just two points, as their advantage now stood at 17-15.
Ten minutes into the second half and Newmarket set a superb rolling maul to edge further ahead, at 22-15.
Then two minutes later, and after some great phases of play, McKibben dotted down to increase the score to 27-15 in their favour.
Sudbury rallied and scored a try to close the gap to 27-20 behind, before Michael Reeves then took a penalty kick to take the scoreline to 30-20.
An intensive effort from Sudbury was taken into touch on Newmarket’s 22m line and, from the line out, the home side scored again.
But the day was not one for penalties and the match ended 30-25 to Newmarket.
The win keeps Newmarket in second place in the Division One Shield table, but they have caught up leaders Norwich Union, who themselves won 15-5 at Cottenham on Saturday.
The two sides are now locked together on 18 points, but Norwich sit top by virtue of points difference.
The title rivals clash at Newmarket on March 21.