Harwich & Dovercourt defeated

EASTERN COUNTIES 1: West Norfolk 42 Harwich & Dovercourt 28

AFTER a tight start to the game West Norfolk were the first to break their discipline and Sam Male converted from 25 yards out.

The hosts then showed their strengths and created a try from nothing.

A missed tackle on the blind-side saw the home side get behind the Harwich defence and from there, fly half Ed Maule offloaded to winger Jake Richardson to score near the posts. Joe Butt converted.

West Norfolk increased their lead five minutes later, again breaking the Harwich line which saw centre Shaun Brundle power his way through the unorganised Harwich defence, scoring under the posts. Joe Butt converted.

At this point Harwich needed to respond and they did just that. George Brunning reacted quickest to a loose ball in the line-out 20 yards out

The ball then worked its way out to Robert Edgar to cross the line. Male converted to make it 14-10.

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Brunning, who was having a great game in the back row was forced to leave the field with a blood injury for his efforts, making way for David Parkin.

Harwich then took the lead for the first time in the match. The West Norfolk back three struggled to deal with the kick and Mills picked up the bouncing ball on the half-way line.

The centre was brought down five yards short of the try line and the supporting David Parkin made sure the ball recycled and moved out to winger Keir Blacker to score in the corner.

Harwich’s lead was short-lived and before half time West Norfolk picked up another uncoverted through fly-half Ed Maule.

The second half continued to be a great, open game of rugby. Joe Butt and Male exchanged penalty kicks before both teams were back to scoring tries.

At 27-23 to the hosts, the game could have gone either way and three more tries followed.

With the scoreline tight, West Norfolk took the opportunity to kick a penalty in front of the post, which made it 30-23.

Harwich bounced back, showing great resilience. From a penalty Male kicked for touch and gave his team a line-out 10 yards out.

From here the Harwich pack worked their way over the West Norfolk line, with Jay Hatcher picking the ball from the break down and powering over the line.

It was only during the last ten minutes when the home side sealed the victory thanks to tries from Butt and Maule, one of which converted from the former with the last kick of the game.

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