Norfolk Junior Cup: Crusaders 27, Gt Yarmouth Broadland 18
Crusaders will meet Swaffham in next Sunday's Norfolk Junior Cup final after this hard-fought win.
Broadland were always in contention right to the end of an exciting match played in ideal conditions. The visitors started well, using their big forwards to test the Crusaders' defence, and they were rewarded with a penalty from Ashley Lightfoot.
Crusaders weathered the storm and good work by their forwards saw the ball moved to Josh Stuart on the blind side. With 20 metres to go and two defenders to beat the No. 8 made no mistake with a powerful run to touch down in the corner. Crusaders increased their lead when second row James Durrant showed great determination to chase his own charge down to score in the corner. Lightfoot reduced the lead with his second penalty but a third Crusaders' try by Henry Joy soon followed. Tristan Smith watched his conversion attempt rebound of the post. Crusaders' plan to spin the ball wide came unstuck towards the end of the first half when Broadland seized on some loose play to score two quick tries through Wilkes and Abeysekora to gain the lead.
Crusaders' pack took control of the scrums despite their bigger opponents, with James Loone finding his catchers with uncanny accuracy in the lineouts. They slowly moved back into the lead with tries from Ross Nicholson following a lineout on the Broadland line and a determined forward drive.
A Jordan Long break in the centre opened up the visitors' defence and Stewart Cameron made no mistake with his scoring pass to touch down and Smith converted.
Swaffham, who will host next weekend's final, had already qualified with a 25-10 victory over Norwich Medics.
In the Woodfordes Norfolk Plate Diss II won 20-13 at Norwich II and Beccles II beat North Walsham II 24-9. Diss will have home advantage for Saturday's final.