A lacklustre first half performance cost West Norfolk dearly as they went down away to old rivals Holt in their latest league fixture.
Despite a few injuries and unavailabilities, West were bright enough in the warm up and started sharply as the powerful forward Edney Costa claimed possession off West’s kick-off to put them on the front foot straight away.
However, West then settled into a pattern of defence as a number of penalties, alongside dominance in the set pieces, allowed Holt to maintain possession for long periods of play.
A catch and drive from the lineout saw the ball flung out to their winger to open the scoring at 5-0.
With the pressure building, West succumbed to more penalties.
But with the Holt kicker not on target, West were able to prevent their hosts from pulling further away.
West continued to compete hard at the breakdowns, but with less players committed to the ruck, Holt were able to score again to make it 10-0.
Hit by a couple of injuries early on, West were somewhat rejuvenated when MJ Wright and Will Knox both came onto the field.
But with Holt encamped in West Norfolk’s half, they were able to double their lead.
With minutes to go before the interval, West suddenly sparked into life with a slicing break from the backline which saw full-back Jake Richardson combine with the skillful Matt Clemans, who was stopped just short of the try line.
However, Holt were adjudged to have done this illegally and centre Rob Whiteley duly slotted a penalty to leave it at 20-3 at half-time.
Despite some promising half breaks from the likes of winger Jack Windass, and flankers MJ Wright and Rust, the second half saw West Norfolk’s frustrations grow after a succession of silly penalties at the breakdown allowed Holt to extend their advantage to 25-3.
At this point, West finally kicked into gear and, with some retained attacking possession, began to force Holt back.
This was rewarded when fly-half Sam Moses cut through to round off a splendid sequence of attacks, converting his own try to cut the deficit at 25-10.
West now looked in business and with Holt beginning to make more mistakes under pressure, the visitors pushed hard for another score to bring them within striking distance.
On a number of occasions, the likes of Costa, Tom Courtney and Luke Covell made some telling bursts through Holt’s defensive line.
However, as time started to run out, Holt countered and struck again to give themselves a buffer and a somewhat flattering 35-10 success.
West Norfolk’s new-look young squad continue to gel and improved performances and more victories are within touching distance, as long as the players keep working hard and play for each other.
West now look forward to a home fixture against Woodbridge on Saturday (3pm).
Adrian Flux Man-of-the-Match: Sam Moses.
A West Norfolk development squad travelled to Lakenham Hewitt on Friday evening.
The team dominated their opposition throughout to secure an impressive 72-10 win.
MoM: Joe Shirley.