West Norfolk 3
Epping Upper Clapton 34
West Norfolk lost to table-topping Epping in what looked like a title deciding game.
The coaching team, management and players were all in a buoyant mood hoping for revenge on the away loss despite recent results.
West’s squad was boosted by the return of experienced back Alex Singleton and forwards Paul Denton and Rory O’Sullivan.
The hosts started off the brightest with some fast attacking runs by centre Jack Hoyles and captain Jamie Williamson and maintained good possession, although these lacked the clinical finish needed. West were rewarded for their hard work in the 17th minute with a well taken penalty slotted over by Lewys Weaver.
West continued to look dominant in attack with the visitors pinned in their own half, but against the run of play a break through the middle resulted in a converted try. Undeterred, West continued to attack, before an interception allowed the visitors to double the lead with another converted try just before the interval, leaving the home side trailing by 14-3.
A positive team talk with West still believing they could get into the game, gave the hosts extra impetus as the second half started. However, things did not go to plan with the visitors being awarded a penalty shortly after the restart.
With things not going to plan West made some changes with Sam Greenwood going on at fly-half and his brother William at centre. The hosts were now in all-out attack mode, trying to get back in the match, but the visitors struck again, adding to their lead with an unconverted try.
Ryan Walker was put into the mix hoping to get something out of the game but was unlucky to be yellow carded for a harsh decision.
With the hosts down to 14 and injuries starting to catch up on players, Epping pushed home their advantage with two more converted tries to run out winners.
Although this was West’s third defeat in a row coaches and management took many more positives from this game than the previous two defeats.
West Norfolk hope to get back to winning ways this week away at Stowmarket.
Adrian Flux MoM: Rory O’Sullivan.