(by the Report Monkey)
The 3s travelled to Newmarket for our first meeting of the season. With the excellent numbers and competition for places at Cantabs this season the travelling squad could have easily been a 2s side last year. That being said Newmarket were in the same league as our 2s last season so we knew we were in for a battle this week.
Cantabs kicked of and were soon under pressure as Market pressed us back into our 22 and held us there for the next 10 minutes, our defence however was solid and as they searched for a way through working the ball from wing to wing looking for a weak link every player to a man stopping them from getting on the score board.
Eventually we managed to get into their territory but they looked to be as impenetrable as we had been, but as a great team work got us closer and closer to their line Alex BJ managed to find the smallest of chinks in their armour and squeezed through it to open the scoring . The extras added by Borja 0-7.
Newmarket applied good pressure on their kick off and managed to regain possession, our defence was again solid but the battle took it's toll on a couple with Dan coming off to be replaced by Kirkham, and shortly after Scott replacing Tom. Newmarket were awarded a pen just outside our 22 and opted to kick, and kicked it well 3-7.
Cantabs did not leave it long to reply with Thom and Alex making good breaks down the side and the forwards working well to keep us advancing the ball whipped out left and Alex BJ was there to reap the rewards of a great team try, bit to far out for Borja 3-12.
With all the cogs slipping in sink for Cantabs we were soon back in their 22 and with all the work they had been doing it was apt that a forward should reap the rewards, after Justin was held up (ish) over the line the big guys worked hard and it was not long before big Darren muscled his way over the line. The upright defended the kick 3-17.
With the end of half drawing in Sir warned both sides he was not happy with the penalty count, and with 1 minute left a Newmarket man saw yellow for repeat offences.
Highlights of the half were the TACKLES, all of them and there was a lot!!
Ash came on for me for the only change at half time.
As the second half kicked of I was checking on the condition of our fallen men so I missed the start of our next try (poor reporter skills I know!). mid check up I turned to see Craig charging through and though I saw him running from the halfway line I am told his break started from our 22! He had support on both shoulders but elected to go all the way himself to dot down just to the left of the sticks, Borja's favourite spot 3-24.
Will was next on the score board with a lovely break he weaved his way between 5/6 defenders who failed to hold onto him to make his way under the posts (again great support runners going unspent). Borja slotted over for his last play of the game as Matt came on at full back and Craig moved to centre. 3-31.
For the next 20 minutes both teams defended in equal measure with breaks by both sides being snuffed out by some great tackling (Ash and Thom putting in 2 of my personal favourites).
Will then took a knock on the noggin so sat out the last 10 the resulting re-shuffle in the backs saw young Brad end up on my wing, readers of my previous reports will know exactly what comes next!!
After several snuffed out attacks Cantabs worked well to a men driving us closer and closer into Newmarket territory, Thom saw some space down the right and the ball found its way into Brad's waiting hands, he exploded past the last man to open his Cantabs score account. A little too far out for Matt to get the extras with the last kick of the game 3-36 the final score.
Personal highlight was getting to watch the whole team play so well as one entity.
Full credit to Newmarket who I feel the score line may not quite reflect their performance, epic defending on our part preventing them from getting over the line, and some great defence by them stopping many breaks by us from going all the way, Thom and Alex SW were particularly unfortunate not to receive a score for their work.
MoM – In games like this where every player has such a great game it is a crazy notion to pick one man's performance over anyone else's.
At best I have managed to narrow it down to 4 players who managed to shine a touch brighter, so I am going to cop out and have 4 Men of the Match!
Deller - had a great game and was responsible for turning over more ball in the mauls that I had fingers to keep count of.
Ed SD - tackled like a monster and if Deller wasn't stealing their ball then he probably was.
Ed K - one man army making yards and tackling HARD.
Thom - while every man made many tackles, to me many of the key big stops were down to Thom, low and hard every time a true pleasure to watch this one man tackling master class.
Epic team performance - DoD cancelled until further notice!