Man with the golden boot sends Beccles into semis
LOWESTOFT & YARMOUTH 7, BECCLES 12: Whilst most people were beginning their preparations for the New Year celebrations, Beccles travelled to local rivals Lowestoft & Yarmouth for a closely fought and good spirited Norfolk Cup quarter-final.
The first points of the day followed a Lowestoft & Yarmouth infringement near the halfway line. At a range which would have tested most kickers Luke Wade stepped up and slotted the first three points of a day on which his outstanding kicking was to prove a major factor.
For much of the remainder of the first half both sides continued to press for the opening try. The home side continued to try and press through their heavy pack occasionally setting their back line free. Lowestoft & Yarmouth created some good attacking opportunities through their back line only to be stopped by Maeer, who seemed to be first at every breakdown and Arnold who snuffed out any play stretching wide.
Just before half-time Wade was presented with another challenging penalty opportunity and slotted the long distance shot to give Beccles a six point lead at half-time.
Beccles introduced some fresh legs at half-time with Giddins making way for Sutton and Maeer for Pennington. Beccles began the second half well and started to take control of the game. The large home side pack began to tire after failing to realise their expected dominance in the first half which was very much down to the outstanding but regular display from the front row of Ling, Lake and Porter.
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Particularly impressive was Porter who gave weight away to his opposite prop. In only his first season in this position after converting from the back row he has had an impressive season and capped off the year with a Musker McIntrye man of the match performance.
Beccles were now generating a steady supply of ball for Sale and Murray who were able to get the Beccles back line moving. Murray regularly spun the ball wide where Arnold, Gidney and Vasey-Lark were all cutting great lines and testing the home side's defence. This pressure was finally rewarded with another penalty and the dependable Wade stepped up and converted.
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Lowestoft & Yarmouth upped their play taking the game close to the Beccles line.
After running a number of phases close to the Beccles line the defence finally gave in as the home side crashed over the line for the first and only try of the game. With the hosts converting the extra two points the game sat at 7-9 with around 20 minutes to play.
As the game entered the final stages Beccles made a number of changes with Hinsley and Davey-Durak making way for the lively Hall and young flyer Calver.
With the home side chasing the game in the dying minutes they were forced to move the ball wider and play some pressure rugby.
With only a minute left to play the Beccles forwards, led once more by Rix and Ling took the ball into the home side's half.
From a resultant break down the hosts gave away another penalty in what looked to be a safe kicking distance. Wade stepped up to slot his fourth penalty of the day to bring the score to 7-12.