Norwich Union see off leaders Beccles to boost promotion bid

Beccles on their way to defeat at Norwich Union in their final match before the Christmas break Pict

Beccles on their way to defeat at Norwich Union in their final match before the Christmas break Picture: Russ Clarke - Credit: Archant

Norwich Union maintained their push for a place in the top two with a 19-14 home win over leaders Beccles.

The first try came early in the game after captain Simon Pitcher had thrown a miss pass to wing Dan Norgate. He was stopped inches short, but the ball was recycled quickly by Graham Hunt who popped the ball to Louis Ford who ran in to score an unconverted try.

Beccles replied with a penalty try after an infringement at a scrum and stretched their lead with an interception finished off by Blair Hannam, with Temm Kauri converting to make it 5-14 at the break.

Union replied shortly after half-time with a classic driving maul, hooker Ben Bond-Webster scoring a try which fly-half Tom Whitehouse converted.

However, the decisive score came in the closing stages from Hunt, who secured the win after sniping from the base of the breakdown following some hard running by Ford and Matthew Cook.

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Union's man of the match was Dan Jones.

At Scottow a much changed North Walsham Raiders side ran out comfortable 41-14 winners over a game Lowestoft & Yarmouth outfit, with a late spurt pulling them clear.

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A third minute push-over try for Nathan Bensley got things going and a second for scrum-half Liam Clarke gave a hint that this would be a high scoring afternoon but errors coupled with some good defence negated that thought. A penalty try left the home side 17-0 up at the break.

Good work by the backs saw debut making Alex Holdsworth cross in the corner before L&Y struck back with tries from Brad Sutherland and Jack Walker, which were both converted by Tom Dare, to narrow the gap. But some astute kicking by outside half Aaran Dhesi put the Raiders on the front foot and some excellent handling in the final 15 minutes earned wing Theo Hudson a hat-trick of tries, with Dhesi adding two conversions. L&Y's 17-year-old No 8 Alfie Webber gave a good account of himself as the bottom of the table visitors showed plenty of heart.

Norwich Medics remain third, just a point behind the Raiders, after winning 62-11 at Diss 11. Norwich Union are a point further back, but have a game in hand on the three teams above them. Beccles lead the way by four points going into the break.

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