Beaten West left to battle for second place
PUBLISHED: 00:15 16 March 2011
West Norfolk's hopes of winning the Greene King Eastern Counties Division One title all but disappeared at the weekend when they were beaten 27-17 by leaders Stowmarket.
The Suffolk side are now nine points clear at the top with just two matches left to play and West’s target now is to ensure they claim the second promotion spot.
They have four points in hand on nearest challengers Cantabrigians and must beat neighbours Holt at home and away in their final two fixtures to be assured of going up.
Any slip-ups and Cantabrigian and Holt, who have a game in hand on the sides above them, will be in a position to pip them at the post.
Stowmarket deserved Saturday’s win, with a superior pack holding the key to their success.
West competed well and only trailed 12-7 at the break, with Michael Skinner’s try, converted by Ed Maule, keeping them in it.
Craig Edwards then touched down to level the scores but Stowmarket pulled away after that, with Edwards’ second try of the day no more than a late consolation.
Holt are still in with a chance of finishing in second place after a 22-10 victory over Cantabrigians.
The visitors put the home side under early pressure and after eight minutes they were rewarded with an uncoverted try from a driving maul.
Holt hit back and opened their account with a penalty through Ilsley after 35 minutes.
With time running out before half-time, Holt encamped themselves in the Cantabrigians’ 22 and were finally rewarded when Robson finished off a good move, with Ilsley adding the points.
Holt stretched their lead midway through the second period when Wright made the touchdown following a push-over try. The conversion was off target, but the lead was now 15-5.
Four minutes later Robson latched on to a cross kick to run in from the halfway line to score under the posts, making the conversion a formality for Ilsley.
Cantabrigians were still dangerous on the counter-attack and scored a deserved try to reduce the arrears.
Holt are still fourth in the table, but with a game in hand.
They will do extremely well to reach second place – but at least the chance is there.