Norwich's Matt Cartwright goes over for a try.

Norwich 24, Old Brentwoods 5

Andy Ball
Monday, November 5, 2012
2.40 PM

Norwich retained top spot in London 3NE following a hard-fought victory.

The hosts started slowly and allowed Brentwood to dominate the early exchanges. They made good use of the breeze and kept Norwich penned into their own half but failed to make the most of the possession. The home team gradually began to make more use of the ball and worked their way upfield, although at times there was some wayward kicking which gave the ball away. However a good break from Austin, supported by Micklethwaite, saw Norwich awarded a penalty which was converted by Brown.

The ensuing kick-off saw Norwich fail to catch the ball and then allow the Brentwood wing to gather the kick and stroll through unopposed to score. Thankfully for Norwich the kick was missed. The half continued with Norwich making more effective use of the ball but too often poor handling and retention let them down, although credit to the visitors who defended well.

Norwich suffered a loss when captain Micklethwaite left the field injured to be replaced by Cartwright.

Brentwood continued to kick for position and only some excellent defence kept them from scoring.

The ball moved again upfield and an excellent break from Walker supported by Austin almost saw a score for the home side. However at the breakdown Brentwood were spotted handling the ball on the floor and Brown converted his second penalty.

Just before the end of the half Brentwood made an excellent break following a poor line-out from Norwich, and with an obvious overlap spilled the ball in the centre of the field, enabling Norwich to clear to touch and close the half.

Norwich started the second half in a more positive fashion and pressurised Old Brentwoods from the outset but although they were now spreading the ball wider they could not penetrate a stern defence.

Both Hancocks and Greenwood made good ground whenever they had the ball, and the first trye came when a deft chip from Hancocks was caught by Walker who rounded two defenders to score. Brown’s kick from the far right of the pitch just shaved the posts.

Norwich were now on top and substitute Cartwright made full use of his opportunity to score under the posts, following good work from Bailey and Darby, and the kick was converted by Brown.

Norwich scored again through a penalty, following some debate between Old Brentwoods and the referee and shortly afterwards were awarded another kick after a good drive from Hancocks was halted in midfield and Old Brentwoods were found to have killed the ball. Once again Brown converted.

Norwich were on course for a bonus point win but at times seemed to lack the decisiveness to turn possession into tries and had to settle for four points.