Stowmarket 27 West Norfolk 7
West entered the last quarter of their season with a spirited display away at local rivals Stowmarket.
Despite dealing with a number of injuries, the visitors were able to field a strong squad with a mobile, powerful forward pack that included Rory O’Sullivan, Christian Newton-Walters and the return of Laurence Few. This was combined with a strong looking backline with a new centre pairing of John Kirwan and Freddie Playford.
Stowmarket scored within two minutes after a lapse in concentration.
West hit back hard and a sleek step and go break saw scrum half Ollie Ridout dart over under the posts. Joe Butt added the conversion to give West a 7-5 lead.
The hosts then countered with some powerful bursts up the flanks, despite some stout defence. This pressure told as their winger crashed over for two more scores to take a 17-7 lead at the break.
West came out fighting in the second half, with Kirwan, MJ Wright, Playford and Jacob Chapman looking dangerous across the pitch in both attack and defence. But a penalty from a high tackle let Stowmarket extend their lead to 20-7, before adding a final try.
West now face a strong Thetford outfit in the Norfolk Cup.
Adrian Flux Man of the Match: Ollie Ridout.
Table: page 106.