(By the Report Monkey)
Suffering from a few last minute drop outs/let downs, Newmarket arrived at Cantabs with only 10 men. In keeping with the old merit league spirit we gave them all our subs (to make it 15 vs 13), then 1 more to make it level. Thanks to Tim, Jack, Janos and Will for tanking the trip into black and green for the first half.
Cantabs kicked off and the game was on, Newmarket came out with strong running but despite a few slippery young fellows breaking the lines, Cantabs held them in in their half, and before long managed to gain possession, Craig worked well with Chris who used his trademark chip and chase to great effect to open the scores. A rare miss for Lovett's boot, 5-0.
Newmarket were keen to show that they had not just turned up to be walked over, and soon had us pinned in our 22 (thanks in part to the Cantabs in Black, and their 10's boot), and despite some bold tackling they managed to get themselves a score for their pressure. 5-7
The forwards but great pressure on from the restart and eventually earned a pen just inside their 22, Lovett's boot this time rang true 8-7.
Before too long Cantabs were again applying the pressure forwards crashing and backs dashing to gain us ground, but it was some good forwards work that earned the next score as Justin and Shaggy liberated the ball from a Newmarket Maul, Shaggy broke free with his distinctive gallop drew the last defender and offloaded to a flying Guns, who dotted down for the glory, Lovetts kick again good(and to save time they were all good from this point!), 15-7. The attack had unfortunately taken it's toll on Chris, and Deano who only wanted 15/20 mins to test his knee stepped on to keep the numbers level.
Newmarket were again quick to counter with a score of their own, and it was Will (playing 9 for them) who saw a space and broke from the back of a scrum to score for them (considering the shift he was putting in for Market it was a well earned try), 15-12.
The next score went to Dan who spotted a gap and made a good what must have been 300m maybe 400m run to open his Cantabs score account, a well earned try for the 3s second highest attender!! 22-12.
The Score tennis continued as Newmarket returned the pressure and their second row on the wing crashed through and over for his first, 22-17.
A few more good runs and better stops from both sides saw out the half.
Personal highlight of the half would have to be the look of joy/exhaustion on Dan's face as he scored his first try in blue and white.
All our lent out players were retrieved and swapped out for Erik, Dan, Shaggy and myself (never ask you teammates to do something you are not prepared to do yourself!).
Due to the exhaustion of defending the Cantabs onslaught of the second half I can not quite remember the exact scoring order so apologies if I get the order wrong or mix up who assisted who (or forget your assist entirely!!).
Cantabs received the kick from the restart and piled on the pressure, eventually one of Darren's many great crashing runs opened up the play, and support can flooding through with him eventually it was Karim who bashed his way over to open the second half scores, 29-17.
Cantabs next was another show of solid teamwork, and some slick hands in the backs saw Craig on one of his standard dancing/darting sessions skip past the last few men to add another to his ever growing tally, 36-17.
Not to be forgotten Newmarket responded after earning good territory through the boot of their 10 a scrum on the Cantabs 5m was flashed out to their second row/now centre to crash over for his second, 36-24.
The next score I think went to Justin, again after some great teamwork to get Cantabs closer and closer to the line, Justin saw a gap and put himself through it! 43-24.
Newmarket lost a man not long after (I removed Deano from the Cantabs ranks to keep the numbers level as soon as my brain caught up with the fact it was in my power to do so), but this did not stop them adding one more score to the board. Helped in a big way by the crashing runs of Erik the Viking, 43-29.
The final score of the game was started by a massive break and run by Darren (Denman I think you my have a new contender for fastest prop in the club!), again with massive support flooding through, it was Deller who made the last hard 5m (with a little push from his friends) despite a valiant defensive effort by his capt in the wrong colours I might add, also mental note forwards are heavy! 50-29. A bit more battle and the final whistle blew.
Personal highlight of the half I am torn between Darren's sprinting efforts and Erik's numerous crashing runs (even if he was in the wrong colours, I watched each one knowing he is going to be a great new weapon for us).
Massive respect to the Newmarket 10 for keeping the fixture alive, despite the low numbers and battling to the very last second. Also a big thanks to all those who stepped into the green and black jersey for not only helping show the sportsmanship that Rugby is all about but for giving it their all regardless of the colours they wore.
MoM - This never gets easier to pick with every player to a man having a great game but this week I think Darren's super sprint and all round impact earn him the award.
In the absence of anything DoDish occurring (that I can remember anyway), Sportsman of the week awards to all those who played for Newmarket, Jack, Tim, Janos, Will (possible DoD for scoring for them but not for us), Shaggy, Erik and Dan.