May & Baker 31
West Norfolk 0
West Norfolk slipped into third place in London North East 3 following their third defeat of the season at the hands of mid-table May & Baker.
Following a bruising encounter against fellow title chasers Old Cooperians the previous weekend, West were left licking their wounds as a mixture of injuries and last minute unavailabilities, combined with an overall below par team performance, took its toll on the squad.
The match started off reasonably enough as West looked to break through the defence with a series of strong runs from the likes of No.8 and captain Jamie Williamson, Ryan Walker and Yousef Edris.
However, with a new backline attempting to settle, May & Baker were able to gather momentum and strike for their first try on the half hour mark.
With decisions seemly going only in one direction, West were then further hindered when prop Lawrence Savage was yellow carded for a questionable interpretation of the scrum engagement.
The hosts took full advantage and having put West under pressure with a series of clearance kicks deep into the visitors’ half, capitalised again when a stray pass went straight into the hands of the opposition.
A third try followed 10 minutes into the second half after a powerful driving maul from the lineout. West looked to counter but were struggling to get out of first gear, with the backline being forced to defend fiercely through this period against a torrent of penalty decisions.
On a positive note there was some tremendous defending from Weaver, Freddie Playford, Will Greenwood and Dave Harrison amongst others.
Ultimately, West were unable to get any fluidity into their play and the hosts capped off their afternoon with a further two well-worked tries.
Captain Williamson said: “We are bitterly disappointed with this result. Despite the squad changes we feel we’ve not played anywhere near our potential. Fair play to May & Baker, who came out at us for the whole match. The chase for the league title has now opened up, but we are still in the mix and it’s up to us to pick ourselves up and show what we can do it.
“That starts with us hosting league leaders Epping Upper Clapton on Saturday. If the boys put in the hard work at training I’m confident we will come back stronger.”
Kick off is 3pm at Gatehouse Lane, North Wootton.
Adrian Flux MoM: Dave Harrison.