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Incredible Comeback Rewarded

Newmarket Ladies 1’s v Cambridge University 2’s: 7-7 draw

An incredible 70 minutes between Cambridge University and Newmarket ladies produced 14 goals. The game was action packed and hard fought, as each player battled with their opponent and the unseasonal hot weather.

Cambridge University were looking to match their previous score against Newmarket which was 7-0 and the game looked to be heading that way to start with. Cambridge were looking confident as they switched the ball around the back and played a clever, intricate passing game. It only took them just over a minute to capitalise – a shot from the far right of D finding it’s way through the defence. Cambridge were growing in strength and pushed forward. They scored another in similar fashion, and again from a mid D clip. Concerns were growing from the crowd and Newmarket players as it looked like the opposition were going to hit a cricket score against Town. Newmarket fought back and what was to follow could never have been predicted.

Newmarket playing without fear or disappointment started a wave of electric play. They showed strength and might in midfield through Hayley Stoneman, Claire McDonnell and Jenny Richards. Positive clearances from Lorna Freeman, Isabel Hooley and Jazz Wombwell in defence gave room for the forwards to charge towards goal. Finally the chance came for Newmarket to hit home from this momentum. A short corner was awarded and with a sweep from the left post – Jenny Richards got a goal back for the home side, bang on 15 minutes. Fully rejuvenated; Newmarket were now beating Cambridge to the ball on all parts of the field.

A storming run on the left of field from Claire McDonnell gave Di Thomas opportunity to deflect a shot home to make the score 3-2. Cambridge now in crisis were not so sure of their passing as Newmarket began to read their tactics. Nevertheless Cambridge broke free and narrowly put a shot past Sue Bullimore in goal to take the score to 4-2. Feeling hard done by Newmarket looked to generate more chances, and from another short corner Richards was on hand to meet a shot on the left post again. Determined to dominate – Cambridge struck back again with another right side shot.

With five minutes left to play in the first half Newmarket had to get cracking to level the score and in true Hollywood fashion they passed this task – Thomas getting her second through a reverse stick flick from the edge of the D and Louise Downs coming on with fresh legs curled an amazing shot from the right back line to make the score 5-5. Unfortunately this was the last bit of action Downs was to see as she gained an injury just before half time.

The stage was set for either team to take the spotlight. Both teams flagging due to the heat would mean quick breakaways were going to be the key to dominating the game. It was Cambridge who hit the target first after 14 minutes and again in the 21st minute. Far from being beaten – Town rallied again. A quick release from Sam Brooke through Clodie Rolph, gave Tracy Cockerill a chance to fire on goal – hitting the post Zoe Bailey was perfectly poised to punch the ball across the line. Newmarket, hungry for more battled on. The final shot coming from Newmarket – another short corner expertly deflected in by Richards to get her hatrick.

A fantastic game that produced an unexpected draw, and will go down in history as one of the team’s greatest come backs.

Man of match (joint) Jenny Richards & Di Thomas.