West Norfolk 31
West Norfolk returned to league action following their frustrating postponement last week, with a challenging away trip to Stowmarket.
In the home fixture earlier in the season, West were nearly punished for a slow start against the former London North East 2 outfit.
It was only a late comeback which saw West pip their forward dominated opponents to the post.
With this in mind, the squad arrived with a steely determination about them. However, it was the hosts who started the better of the two sides, with a series of powerful attacking bursts up the middle. This led to an early penalty opportunity for Stowmarket, which drifted wide of the posts.
After a short spell of stout defending, the visitors finally got into gear on the ten minute mark when some quick ball spun out to the backs released full back Ross Biggs to cut through for a try, Monty Maule adding the tricky conversion.
Stowmarket regrouped and a couple of minutes later a successful penalty brought the scores back to 7-3.
West’s defence was looking solid with some ferocious tackling from the likes of Jamie Williamson, Sam Greenwood and Lewys Weaver.
Another break through the backline gave Jake Richardson a half chance to outpace the hosts’ defensive line, which he took clinically to touch down in the corner (12-3).
An off the ball altercation saw both sides reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes as the second quarter of the game began to draw out. Shortly afterwards, Stowmarket were a man down again after another infringement saw a second yellow being produced.
West’s third try came when a close range catch and drive from the lineout saw captain Lawrence Savage crash over in the right hand corner, giving the visitors a healthy 17-3 half-time advantage.
With fresh legs in the form of Paul Bridges, Henry Rust and Ryan Walker, West started brightly in the second half with a number of attacking bursts up the touchlines. However, Stowmarket were able to hold out and in a sustained period of pressure the hosts held West deep within their own 22 area. Only some superb tackling from the likes of Will Dodds, Neil Thurston and Harrison McNaught saw West clear the danger.
This immense pressure finally told when Stowmarket broke through to score (17-10) with less than 15 minutes to go.
The visitors composed themselves for the restart. Another lineout take and drive off Dan Stephenson saw the forwards trundle over to enable Savage to complete a brace of tries whilst also securing the bonus point.
West stepped up the gears and some neat half breaks from Weaver and Richardson ended with the ball being fed to winger Alex Singleton, who scorched down the left touchline to score the fifth try, Monty Maule adding the extras.
This week sees West travel to Wanstead in the rescheduled league fixture.
Tulip Man of the Match: Monty Maule.
West Norfolk Development drew 15-15 away to Norwich 2nds.
Tulip MoM: Lawrence Daniels.