Eastern Counties mauled by Staffs
RUGBY UNION County Championship Plate Pool TwoStaffs 28 E Counties 12 EASTERN Counties opened the scoring when man of the match, Andy Horne (Diss), picked up from the base and provided Nick Greenall (North Walsham) with the space to release Scott Garrett (Bury) who went through a yawning gap in the Staffs defence to score between the sticks.
RUGBY UNION County Championship
Plate Pool Two
E Counties 12
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EASTERN Counties opened the scoring when man of the match, Andy Horne (Diss), picked up from the base and provided Nick Greenall (North Walsham) with the space to release Scott Garrett (Bury) who went through a yawning gap in the Staffs defence to score between the sticks. Iain Young (Norwich) then converted to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
An injury to Howard though was cause for concern and EC were down to 14 while he was being treated and this enabled Staffs to capitalise on their numerical superiority. Luke Fowles (Waterloo) broke down the right and popped inside to Liam Wordly (Pertemps) who scored near the posts allowing Bartram to level the scores.
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Then as half time approached EC suffered a heavy blow when a promising attacking move broke down and Staffs won a free kick that was taken quickly, a cruel bounce then provided Staffs with the opportunity for Wordly to get his second giving the home side a seven-point lead at the break.
Luck certainly didn't seem to be going EC's way in the second half either as first one then two promising attacks faltered.
Then surprisingly, Staffs' Rob Emery (Burton) failed to be shown a yellow card after the referee caught him repeatedly punching an EC player in a maul and finally Young fluffed a simple penalty that would have reduced the gap to four.
On the other hand Staffs had all the luck as Mark Gilbert (Walsall) grabbed their third try when yet another Counties move was halted and turned over.
Minutes later Counties were down to 14, Chris Greenall was shown a yellow card after tackling a player whilst in the air. Staffs' fourth and final try was again created from a fortunate turnover when another Counties attack was halted providing the platform for Josh Fowles (Newcastle) to score.
In the dying minutes Counties, still down to 14 men, continued to press home their attacks and were justly rewarded and it was third time lucky for Chris Kent when he was finally awarded a try after Nick Greenall's quick penalty allowed the flanker to crash over from close range.
Eastern Counties: Tom Hughes (Saffron Walden), Iain Young (Norwich), Chris Greenall (Unattached), Jim Bardgett (Bury), Tom Jackson (Ely), Scott Garrett (Bury), Nick Greenall (North Walsham), Dave Blackwell, Ed Stowe, Jon Lusted (Wymondham), Mike Howard (Diss), John Morfitt (Wymondham), Shaun Woodhouse (Norwich), Chris Kent (Bury), Andy Horne (Diss), Stewart Forton (Norwich), Ian Forton (Lakenham Hewitt), Lee Kupyn (Ely), Ed Murray (Colchester).