Romford & Gidea Park 33 Norwich 31: Penalty count contributes to narrow defeat
- Credit: Archant
This was a game which the respective league positions of the two sides indicated would be close - and so it proved.
Norwich will look back at crucial moments in the game which let them down which was a great pity because they played some super stuff at times.
Jack MacVeigh put the hosts in front with a simple penalty after eight minutes and there were then periods of pressure from both sides before visiting centre Jonty Newton received a yellow card for a late tackle and Romford scored a try through scrum-half Barney Savill, who went over half way out which was converted by MacVeigh.
Norwich's cause was not helped when left wing Hugo Barratt was yellow carded but they recovered straightaway with a try after some great interplay which saw flanker Paul Micklethwaite score near the posts for Mike Lawton to add the simple conversion. Moments later, after a great steal on the floor by David Micklethwaite, Norwich moved the ball wide and Lawton strolled over under the posts. He added the conversion to put his side 14-10 ahead at the break.
After the break Romford threw everything at them but Norwich's defence was excellent and the ball was coughed up in the middle of the park Chris Parrott, who had replaced Barratt on the left wing, broke and Newton scored near the posts. Lawton converted and Norwich were 21-10 up with 25 minutes to go.
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Shortly after the restart Norwich scrum-half Robbie Bridgstock made a break and put away Parrott who would probably have scored but the referee called play back for a forward pass.
Romford got back in the game, aided by Norwich conceding soft penalties. MacVeigh had already reduced the arrears with a penalty when Aiden Mersh got over the line for MacVeigh to add the easy conversion. With five minutes left Romford took a quick penalty and for once Norwich's defence let them down and prop forward Karl Prestoe got over the line and MacVeigh added a magnificent conversion to put them 27-21.
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Norwich then kicked a penalty before proceeding to give away two silly penalties of their own which MacVeigh converted. In the dying seconds Newton managed to get over the line, with Lawton adding the conversion to give Norwich two losing bonus points.