West Norfolk 34
Lowestoft & Yarmouth 8
For the second week in a row West Norfolk took to the field in horrendous weather conditions, as they hosted a formidable Lowestoft & Yarmouth squad at Gatehouse Lane.
A few changes in personnel saw the return of Tommy Windibank on the wing, with Dave Harrison starting in centres alongside Craig Edwards.
Up front, Ryan Walker was also welcomed back to complete the second row combination with Lee Williamson and his brother and club captain Jamie, coming back as No. 8.
Choosing to face the driving rain in the first half, proceedings got off to a shaky start as Lowestoft’s powerful pack mauled from deep inside West’s half to score the opening try with barely five minutes on the clock.
Galvanised by this early setback, West hit back soon after with a burst up the centre of the pitch from the pack. A tremendous trundle and hand off from prop Paul Bridges, saw the ball recycled quickly out to Craig Edwards, who scorched home to score to the right of the posts. Fly half Sam Moses converting to give West a narrow 7-5 lead.
With Lowestoft stunned by the pace of West’s play, they began to give away several penalties at the ruck area from numerous offside infringements. Moses slotted a penalty kick to make it 10-5.
West continued to put pressure on Lowestoft, who were already showing signs of fatigue with the speed of the game. This resulted in a second try as Ross Biggs crashed through from full back.
As the half came to a close Lowestoft attempted to counter with some well worked forward surges, but stout defence from the likes Jamie Williamson and Harrison limited the visitors to a single penalty kick, which reduced the deficit to 17-8.
The hosts came out fighting in the second period with a steely determination. With Lowestoft struggling to get out of their own half, West capitalised with a prolonged period of possession. Some superb running lines from the likes of winger Alex Singleton, Biggs and Walker split the visiting defence, before Windibank powered over in the left corner.
An injury to Moses threatened to halt West’s momentum, but a fourth try to secure the bonus then followed when flanker Neil Thurston crashed through. The fresh legs of Dave Evans, Craig Blackmur and Paul Denton then added extra impetus and steel into the attack.
This ultimately saw West notch up their fifth and final try from Jamie Williamson after a touchline break from Windibank, as the squad capped off their best performance of the season so far.
Tomorrow sees West host third placed Harlow, in what promises to be an entertaining encounter. Kick-off 3pm.
Adrian Flux MoM: the squad.
West Development squad returned home with a hard fought 12-5 victory over Beccles. Listers BMW/Trundley MoM: Freddie Playford.