Norfolk County Cup
Lowestoft & Yarmouth U16s 10
West Norfolk U16s 19
There were only 13 available players; injuries, a schools 7s tournament and the loss of George Lemon who was up at Newcastle in the latter stages of Scotland U16 trials – attempting perhaps to emulate West Norfolk’s Ali Price who had made his first 6 Nations start for Scotland the day before.
Thankfully Norfolk RFU gave special dispensation to allow West to play four players from the age group below: Lewis Rudd, Mathew French, Kieran Watson and Ben Palmer.
L&Y started very strongly, but great defence held them out, and then a fantastic break out by Alex Warrington, who was tackled just short. A couple more phases and Palmer burst through to score under the posts, Oli Spurrier adding the conversion.
Connor Clarke, Tom Hitchcock and James Dobbler all made surging runs only for the final pass to cut short each attack. A strong run by Will “Bob” Lankfer saw the ball recycled quickly; play switched brilliantly by Henry Hoyles on the burst and then quick hands to get the ball out wide to Tom Collie who scored in the corner (0–12). The L&Y winger was in to score and the half ended with West under the cosh.
The second half began with L&Y on top, but with the instructions of “keep it simple” ringing in their ears, quick hands meant Ben Palmer was given acres of space, easily out pacing the defence to score under the posts, setting up another easy conversion for Spurrier to give West a 19-5 lead.
Crunching tackles from Hoyles and Dobbler coupled with lots of graft, particularly from Josh Wilson and Liam McCallum, and L&Y’s backs were thwarted in attack, also by Palmer’s tackling. The West line was finally breached with just a minute to go.
The win all but guarantees unbeaten West a place in the final.
West: Tom Hitchcock (captain), Jack Clingo, Liam McCallum, Will Lankfer, James Dobbler, Josh Wilson, Ed Drew, Conor Clarke, Oli Spurrier, Alex Warrington, Henry Hoyles, Conor Warrington, Tom Collie; U15s players Lewis Rudd, Mathew French, Kieran Watson and Ben Palmer.