Photo gallery: Norwich RFC push leaders Ipswich all the way at Beeston Hyrne
- Credit: Andy Miclethwaite
League leaders Ipswich visited Beeston Hyrne and scraped a narrow win over a rampant Norwich team determined to repeat their victory against Holt the previous week.
Norwich dominated the early exchanges with Rob Micklethwaite kicking two penalties in the first eight minutes as Norwich launched furious attacks against the visitors' line which they could only stop by conceding penalties.
However five minutes later it was Ipswich's turn to score after missed tackles allowed No8 Simon Uzokwe to score close to the posts. Corne Els kicked the conversion and the visitors took a slender one-point lead.
The home team stormed back and after a tackler failed to roll away Micklethwaite kicked another penalty in the 24th minute giving them a 9-7 lead.
Six minutes later after an Ipswich attack their flanker, Craig Wilson, was sent to the sin bin for entering the side of the maul after being warned not to by the referee. The injured Simon Ukozwe also left the field at the same time.
Despite their efforts Norwich were unable to take advantage of the extra man who returned as the half moved to a close. Following several stoppages, Ipswich scored twice in added time by the referee. Firstly, Chris Blom broke through after a number of Ipswich attacks and scored under the posts giving Els an easy conversion to take the score to 9-14.
Norwich then conceded possession on two occasions and Tim Hopkins was able to collect a kick ahead and score in the corner giving the visitors a 10-point lead as the conversion was missed.
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Soon after the beginning of the second half Norwich brought on their replacements but after nine minutes Els kicked a penalty for a scrum infringement giving the league leaders a 13-point lead.
However the spirit of the Norwich team did not desert them and six minutes later a break by fly-half David Micklethwaite led to brother Rob scoring in the corner, a try he was unable to convert.
In the 12th minute a 40-metre driving maul by the Norwich forwards resulted in a try by Jack Acorn near the corner. An excellent kick by Micklethwaite took the score to 21-22.
Four minutes later another long driving maul from the Norwich pack was brought down and Micklethwaite kicked the penalty giving the home side a two-point lead.
Having kicked a penalty into touch Norwich were unable to secure their own ball and Ipswich charged towards their line and tighthead prop Sheldon Reynecke touched down for a try in the corner which Els was unable to convert.
In the last 10 minutes both sides had opportunities to score but stout defence from both kept the score at 24-27.
Norwich can consider themselves unlucky to lose and be very proud of their performance.
n Lowestoft & Yarmouth remain rooted to the bottom of the table on -1 points in London Two North East, following a heavy 92-10 defeat at fourth-placed Rochford Hundred.