West 60 Newmarket 10
West Norfolk feasted on tries when they hosted Newmarket in very cold conditions on Saturday.
Despite starting the match with 14, Newmarket were first to score after a penalty was kicked to touch on West’s 5m line, the driving maul pushing West over their own line.
After some stern words from captain Bridges, West began to play with organisation and flair which had been lacking in previous weeks.
Opting to use their speedy backs, West began to find holes in the Newmarket defence with line breaks from the likes of fly half Sam Moses and Rob Whiteley.
A well worked maul from a lineout allowed scrum half Hayden Revell to feed winger Billy Goodway who skipped through for West’s first try.
Strong carries from prop Luke Covell and lock Adam Fox continued to get West over the gain line. Further tries from Moses and two from winger Stephen Aspery ensured that West went in at half-time looking strong and confident, 28-5 ahead.
West carried their momentum into the second half looking to play wide from some quick ball produced by the forwards. West’s lineout and scrum worked well with jumpers John Lemon and Edney Costa ensuring West retained their own ball. West began to score regularly with tries from Hayden Revell, full back Mark Tilbrook, a second for Moses and a third for Aspery.
Newmarket began to build some pressure on West resorting to picking and going to deny the West backs possession.
However a handling error resulted in returning centre Craig scooping the ball up and speeding to the Newmarket tryline from inside West’s own 22m line.
Newmarket scored a late consolation try before winger and Man of the Match Aspery bagged his fourth try after some quick hands from Revell and Moses to release Aspery to nip round the outside of the Newmarket defence.
West captain Paul Bridges said: “After a shaky start, I am immensely proud of how the guys composed themselves and produced a clinical performance on the pitch today.
“We knew that this game was massive in terms of the league as Newmarket were one place below us but also to build momentum so that we can produce a better result against Holt than we did away earlier in the season.
“We still need to improve on our discipline around the breakdown, but continuity within the side has helped us to get better each week – something we will need if we are to solidify our performances in the new year.
“A lot of guys have had good games today but I have to commend Stephen Aspery who today played his best game for the club since converting from football a couple of years ago.
“We must now focus and look ahead to next weekend when we play Holt at home in what promises to be a very competitive fixture.”