Eastern Counties League: Leaders aim to avoid the late drama

Wymondham go into tomorrow's home clash against mid-table Mersea Island (2) holding a slender three point lead at the top of the table over Ipswich YM.

With the pre-match luncheon a sell-out, a large crowd will be looking to cheer on the Red and Blacks against the Islanders in their final home game of the year.

While coaches Al Turner and Justin Loveridge are delighted with the rich vein of form that has seen their young team go unbeaten since the second week of the season, they are also conscious that victories in the last couple of games against Woodbridge and Maldon have only been secured in the dying seconds and that the results could easily have been reversed.

Stalwart David Blake is unavailable this week so captain Josh Wright will move to lock with Henry Petch taking over the No 8 berth alongside Andy Mackay and the vastly experienced Chris Brown, who has added a new dimension to the pack with some stunning performances since he decided to don his boots again.

Classy full back Simo comes back into contention and winger Alex Wigney is pushing for a starting slot. Stuart Lyle did enough last week in his first first XV match for three years to warrant consideration while flying winger David Martin will be pushing for a place if work commitments allow.

Crusaders, currently third in the Division One after three straight victories, are away to Hadleigh.

Former England international Paul Sampson and his TV presenter wife Kirsty Gallagher are set to be special guests at West Norfolk's home game tomorrow.

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The pair attended Wests' players' lunch last year – an annual December event at Gatehouse Lane – after taking in some Greene King Eastern Counties Division One action.

And they are set to do the same again when Nigel Richardson's side welcome second-placed Ipswich YM, weather permitting, to their North Wootton home.

Wests' boss Richardson said: 'They came last year, were very sociable, and loved what was a fairly relaxed day for them. It's great they're coming back.

'Paul gave a talk while Kirsty posed for pictures and then they both watched our game. Paul said he missed the grassroots aspect of rugby and that's what we're all about at West Norfolk. We're a very sociable club, we like a sing-song, and enjoy an old-fashioned style of playing rugby where we all have a meal after the game.'