West Norfolk give London 3 Eastern Counties champions Wymondham a huge fright at Gatehouse Lane
London 3 Eastern Counties
West Norfolk 29
West Norfolk coach Aaron Swanborough is aiming for even more improvement next season after watching his side succumb to the eventual league champions.
In a fantastic game for the spectator, fourth-placed West Norfolk turned in a spirited display at Gatehouse Lane.
Coach Swanborough said: “I am so pleased with our performance today. We said from the off that the pressure was off us and we could go out and enjoy the game and play our best rugby, which we did.
“We said we wanted a top-four finish at the start of the season and we achieved that target.
“But, more importantly, the team has played some brilliant rugby this season and we have a large number of young players coming through the ranks showing that this team has massive potential.
“The lads can now enjoy the break over the summer but, without a doubt, we will be aiming higher next season.”
Wymondham needed a bonus point win to secure the title, whilst West were looking to dish out some revenge after a heavy loss in the reverse fixture.
Both teams started very brightly with the conditions allowing some quick end-to-end rugby.
Wymondham would strike first through a missed tackle before Edney Costa opened West’s account using his size and strength to power over the line from short range, converted by centre Jack Wicks.
The visitors would secure their first bonus point with three unanswered tries before West would strike back with Costa’s second try after some nifty footwork and handling by fly-half Mark Tilbrook allowed him to find a hole in the Wymondham line.
After half-time, Wymondham immediately looked to put the game to bed with another converted try before West began a spirited comeback.
The first of three tries for West started with some brilliant offloads from the West forwards which eventually released winger Stephen Aspery to score out wide.
Hayden Revell then pounced on a loose ball and sprinted most of the length of the pitch before offloading to centre Wicks to go over the Wymondham line.
West’s final score would come on the back of a number of penalties on the Wymondham five-metre line.
The hosts opted for the scrum and, after a solid drive, the ball was shipped quickly from the back of the scrum.
Revell spotted a gap in the Wymondham defence and darted through to get his name on the scoresheet, converted by Wicks.
Wymondham would eventually put the game to bed with a converted try and a penalty.
However the hosts refused to roll over and continued their spirited showing in the final few minutes of an absorbing encounter.
Adrian Flux Man-of-the-match: Paul Bridges.