West Norfolk 27
A hard fought bonus point was just reward as West Norfolk returned from a tough encounter away to London North East 3 league leaders Wanstead.
West were well aware that this would be a massive challenge for their developing squad against such strong opponents and were hopeful of fielding a full strength side that demonstrated consistency in selection.
Unfortunately, a large number of injuries and unavailabilities resulted in the team travelling with a much changed line up, with only one substitute and scrum half Sam Greenwood taking the helm. Nevertheless, the squad arrived in good spirits and were determined to give their hosts anything but an easy match.
Wanstead started strongly as they settled into their regular patterns of play effectively. However, an infringement allowed centre Monty Maule to slot a long range penalty.
A lucky ricochet handed Wanstead their first try. They then went on the attack and their more experienced side were able to secure fast ball to another try. A third from close range followed before a neat counter from West saw prop Jacob Chapman burst up the right side of the pitch. He offloaded to the supporting winger Jake Richardson, who opened his account for the day to close the gap at half time.
Wanstead continued to build their lead steadily as West began to tire. However, West showed some solid phases in patches, with some silky attacking skills by the likes of full back Charlie Moore and back rowers Jake Huggett, AJ Edwards and Ollie Short.
With Vitalijus Truksinas coming on soon after the break the visitors were able to add some extra strength on the field. This saw further powerful drives through the hosts’ defence from centre Billy Goodway and the second row combo of Conor Tuck and Ryan Walker.
An enterprising cross kick to the corner by fly half Lee Parry gave Richardson his second. Monty Maule crashed through for West’s third, before Richardson touched down to secure his hat-trick, whilst making sure Wanstead conceded more points in the match than they have so far this season.
Tomorrow sees West hosting Upminster in what is gearing up to a be crucial fixture. 3pm KO at Gatehouse Lane, North Wootton.
Adrian Flux Man of the Match: Jake Richardson.