West Norfolk 29 Beccles 10
A bonus point victory brought a smile to the home crowd at Gatehouse Lane as West Norfolk returned to winning form on Saturday following their poor start to 2016.
Despite a number of injuries, the squad was boosted by the inclusion of Paul Denton at hooker, with Mark Tilbrook and Will Knox making deserved starts in the backs.
The fixture also saw the return of prolific winger Jake Richardson.
The hosts began brightly and were looking dangerous out wide.
Some fast ball to Jack Hoyles saw the fly half glide through the Beccles defence to go in under the posts, Will Knox adding the extras.
With West dominant up front in the scrums and having decent line out ball, the forwards then set up camp within the visitors’ half and series of attacks ended when a running line by second row Yousef Edris split open the defensive line to score.
Knox slotted the conversion to make it 14-0.
Beccles galvanised their efforts and some strong tackling and counter attacks initiated via their large No.8 held West back for a period, until a quick thinking cross kick from a penalty on the left touch line saw Richardson gather and burst over to leave West 19-0 ahead at the interval.
Seeming to relax a little after the restart, West then sat back and Beccles took full advantage with well worked try of their own.
A further wobble ensued when a missed tackle let the visitors notch up their second try of the day, closing the gap at 19-10.
Nonetheless, West dusted themselves off and, with the added fresh legs of Dave Harrison and Christian Newton-Walters, began to reassert their dominance.
Following a number of bursts from the likes of Jamie Williamson and Ollie Ridout, a jinxing break from Hoyles set full back Ross Biggs free to outpace his opposite number and touch down for West’s fourth try.
Determined to not let up this time, a mid-field crash ball to prop Lawrence Savage was recycled swiftly out left to Will Greenwood at inside centre, who powered through the Beccles line, before offloading to flanker Freddie Playford, who pounced to complete the hosts’ account for the day.
Although the performance was by no means perfect, the team will take many positives as they now focus on an away trip to Lowestoft and Yarmouth this weekend.
Adrian Flux MoM: Jack Hoyles.