Youthful Gatehouse Lane outfit show good fighting spirit during cup exit
North Walsham II 31
West Norfolk 24
West Norfolk saw their Norfolk Intermediate Cup hopes ended by a strong North Walsham outfit at the semi-final stage.
Despite a huge number of unavailabilities and being forced into a number of changes, West travelled for the last-four clash in high spirits.
A number of development squad players admirably stepped up and starts for Bradley Russell, Patrick Szlezak, Rhett Lewis and colt Lewis Rudd did not hinder the tempo with West Norfolk taking it to Walsham in the early stages of the game.
Despite playing into the blustery conditions first half, West played their physical offload game well with the likes of Jamie Williamson and Bradley Russell regularly getting over the Walsham gain line.
West’s defence through the middle held firm and Walsham were forced to go wide with flanker Matt Addison and No.8 Jacob Chapman putting in some huge hits to stop Walsham from breaking through.
A converted try for scrum-half Hayden Revell was followed up by a penalty, also kicked by Revell, and a storming run over the Walsham try line by captain Adam Fox, converted by Revell, ensured West were only a try behind at half-time.
Walsham’s quicker backs and fitness began to tell in the second half as they added further scores to the board.
In a last-ditch effort in the last few minutes, West pinned Walsham in their own 22 with some powerful running from Alex Singleton broke the Walsham line and eventually released Revell for his second try of the afternoon.
From the kick-off, West would again pin Walsham in their own 22 but Walsham would hold out for the final whistle to bring the spirited effort by West to an end.
West Norfolk director of rugby Darren Clarke said: “I am extremely proud of the 19 players that travelled to North Walsham today. The development squad players that stepped up today played with total commitment and did everything asked of them.
“The senior players led by example and ensured everyone gave 100 per cent whilst remaining positive when the conditions were tough.
“We must continue this positivity for the rest of the season and many of the development players have now put their hand in for regular first team selection.
“There is still plenty to play for this season but all players need to commit to training and fixtures.”
West take on Wisbech at home in a big derby tomorrow (3pm) looking to make amends after going down heavily in the away fixture earlier in the season.
Joint Adrian Flux man-of-the-match were Hayden Revell and Matt Addison.