Ely 17 West Norfolk 10
West Norfolk fell short away to newly promoted Ely at the weekend in a local derby of two distinctive halves.
Facing a resurgent squad who arrived as Eastern Counties One champions with a powerful forwards pack, West knew their new-look team faced a tough challenge.
However, it appeared that the visitors seemed to give their hosts too much respect as West started in a similar vein to their game against Harlow, sitting back in defence as they waited for Ely to come at them. Despite some stout tackling around the fringes West quickly found themselves a try down. With little possession Ely then continued to attack effectively and were able to notch up a further two tries to take a 17-0 lead.
With just over a minute to go to the interval West suddenly shot into life and began to take the upper hand, with second row Yousef Edris coming within an inch of scoring following a flowing move that penetrated deep into Ely’s half.
The second half flipped the game on its head with West taking full control of attacking possession. This saw some great breaks from the likes of fly half Michael Hogan and debutants Ollie Short, Piers Fountaine and Quinton Houston. This pressure told when centre Stephen Asprey broke through the middle to score West’s first try.
Another long period of attacking possession saw the likes of Ryan Walker and Rory O’Sullivan making good yards through the Ely defence. Edris crashed over to close the gap at 17-10.
With time running out West threw everything at Ely, but a series of little mistakes and 50/50 refereeing decisions going against them prevented West from securing more than a losing bonus point.
“Although this was another frustratingly slow start for us, we must take great heart from the second half performance. We are a young side which is still gelling together and I’m convinced the guys will now be totally focused for our first home match,” said player/manager, Lawrence Savage.
Tomorrow sees West host Southwold, KO 3pm.
Adrian Flux Man-Of-The-Match: Ollie Short.
West Development squad narrowly lost out to a strong Norwich Medics by 17-14.