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1st XV - Match centre

Norwich Union
Sat 6 Apr 15:00 - London & SE Division - Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One Shield Full time

Union take part in a spectacle of attacking Rugby


But are unable to hold out for the win as Newmarket hold out for the win in a game where the lead exchanged hands several times

Union started with a bang scoring in the opening few minutes through captain Simon Pitcher, however, Newmarket always kept within a score and ultimately overhauled the home team with 3mins to go, with a try followed by a penalty to come out on top.

Union added a penalty through Lloyd Davis to take a 10-0 lead with only 9mins on the clock, however the visitors responded with a try from left wing Thomas Tallant as they move the ball quickly from the breakdown.

Union responded immediately, however, with the Spenceley brothers working in unison, Whalebone man of the match Matt Spencley dislodging the ball in the tackle as Newmarket attempted to run out of defence, which was pounced upon by Chris Spenecely, his front row partner Simon Pitcher showed his passing skills by releasing left wing Callum Slaughter who scorched down the wing scoring in the corner, the try was duly converted by Davis to take the restore the 10 point margin at 17-7.

Newmarket replied as the end of the first quarter blindside flanker Daniel Johnson scoring under the posts as a series of quick rucks depleted the Union defences, Number 8 Michael Reeves adding the extras to narrow the margin to 3 points at 17-14.
Unbowed Union were rewarded with a penalty try after a series of collapsed scrums on the Newmarket 5 line again restoring a 10-point lead at 24-14.
Newmarket’s captain and scrum-half Harvey Bell breaks from the base of a ruck and cuts a great line to score under the posts, Reeves again adding the extras to reduce the deficit to 24-21 as the half time whistle blows.

Newmarket scored another try early into the second half as lock Joseph Shipp takes the ball from a tapped penalty and barges over the line just to the left of the uprights, allowing Reeves a simple conversion and taking Newmarket into the lead for the first time in the game at 24-28.
Union replied through replacement prop Martyn Webb, who ran a strong line from a tapped penalty to score a try from 5m out, replacement scrum-half Alex Sinclair added the extras to restore Union’s lead at 31-28.

Sinclair then added a penalty as Newmarket were penalised for offside on their own 22m, stretching their lead to 34-28.
The lead changed hands again as Newmarket were awarded a penalty try as the home team were penalised for repeated offenses in the red zone, Newmarket taking a 1-point lead at 34-35.
Having been awarded a penalty on the 22m, Captain Pitcher opted to have the ball kicked into the corner, rather than take an easy three points, a decision that proved to be correct as Union deployed it’s not so secret weapon of the catch and drive from 5m out, flanker Jake Rodwell being credited with the score to again take the lead at 41-35 with 7 mins of play left.

Newmarket’s 9 then scored what would turn out to be the decisive score, taking a quick tap on the 5m line and catching the Union defences napping to score a fine try, which was again converted by Reeves to again take a 1-point lead at 41-42.

With less than 3min on the clock Union attempted to run the ball from their own 22m but were well tackled in midfield and were adjudged to be holding on, Newmarket slotted a penalty to take the final score to 41-45.

Whilst the Union players were bitterly disappointed to have lost the game, they and Newmarket should be proud of themselves to have been involved in a fantastic game of Rugby which was a great advert for Rugby.

Team: Chris Spenceley, Ben Bond-Webster, Simon Pitcher, Johnny Short, Jordan Read, Ryan Day, Jake Rodwell, Matt Spenceley, Lloyd Davis, Jay O’Brien, Callum Slaughter, Dan Norgate, Joe Nicholson, David Sheldon-Smillie, Alex Sinclair

Replacements: Martyn Webb, Matthew Cook, Tom Easton

Scorers: Simon Pitcher 1T, Callum Slaughter 1T, Penalty Try, Martyn Webb 1T, Jake Rodwell 1T, Lloyd Davis 2C, 1P (3 kicks from 3 attempts), Alex Sinclair 2C, 1P (3 kicks from 3 attempts) Man of the Match Matt Spenecley

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – March: Minehead Barbarians RFC

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League round up

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Beccles 10 43
2. Hadleigh 10 29
3. Newmarket 10 28
4. Norwich Union 10 20
5. Colchester III 10 14
6. Cottenham Renegades 10 13

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