Swaffham seal place in Eastern Counties 1

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EC1 Play-off

Swaffham 36

Cantabrigian 2nds 14

Swaffham secured their place in Eastern Counties 1 with a five tries to one victory, in front of a large crowd to end their season on a high.

Cantabs arrived as champions of EC2, West having lost only twice in the league, but were no match for a powerful Swaffham pack and some slick handling in the three quarters.

Swaffham started strongly but were unable to turn pressure into points, and it was the visitors who took the lead with an early penalty.

Twenty minutes into the game and Swaffham finally got their reward when a catch and drive from a lineout resulted in a converted Potter try, but Cantabs soon struck back with another penalty to stay in contention.

The Swaffham scrum was working well and the back row of Taylor, Potter and Wood were forcing Cantabs to make continual mistakes under pressure and concede possession.

This allowed the backs to attack from deep and a fine move ended with a chip ahead and a try near the corner for Mustard which was again excellently converted.

Cantabs could only reply with a penalty in front of the post and the half ended with Swaffham leading 21-9.

Swaffham continued to dominate the forward battle in the second half, and although Cantabs got close to the line on a couple of occasions, the determination of the Swaffham players in defence kept them out.

Midway through the second half everything seemed to click and Swaffham struck twice in quick succession through DJ Barnard and Mustard after some excellent handling and support running.

With the score at 36-9 and five minutes remaining Cantabs were not prepared to give up and some ferocious attacks ended with two Swaffham players yellow carded for offside.

Eventually the 13-man defence was breached and Cantabs scored in the corner for the points they deserved.

With the conversion going wide the ref blew the whistle to end an entertaining game, and confirm Swaffham’s survival in EC1 for next season.

In the other playoff game Colchester 2nds beat Diss 2nds 51-3 and will take the place of promoted Southwold as the first second team to qualify at this level.