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Cup final offers chance for Norwich to finish O’Brien’s reign on a high

Pip Scott on the charge for Norwich during their 8-5 win at Diss in the Norfolk Senior Cup semi-finals. Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Pip Scott on the charge for Norwich during their 8-5 win at Diss in the Norfolk Senior Cup semi-finals. Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Andy Micklethwaite

Jonny O’Brien’s four years as head coach of Norwich come to an end tomorrow, with the chance to end on a high by upsetting North Walsham in the Senior Cup final.

Having completed their league season three weeks ago with a 24-22 home win over Chelmsford, three wins from their last four games saw Norwich finish third in London 2NE.

Walsham who play a step higher in the league system, have dominated the Senior Cup in recent years but face a different foe this year after O’Brien’s team won their semi-final at Diss 8-5 back in February thanks to a try and a penalty from Theo Elliot.

“For the first team, taking on North Walsham in the final is a great challenge and a chance for the players to test themselves against the best in the county,” the Norwich coach said.

“We’re able to field our strongest team for months with players returning from injury which is great news. On a personal note as this will be my last game in charge I’d just like to thank everybody at the club, especially the players and the coaching staff. “

There is a similar challenge for the club’s third XV, who will also be in action at the annual Norfolk Big Rugby Day, being held at Diss on Saturday.

Norwich A face Diss thirds in the Salver final at 2.30pm at Mackenders, with the Senior Cup final to follow at 4.30pm.

Director of rugby David Everitt said “The club can look forward to the weekend’s cup final day with confidence after an important and successful league campaign. The A XV have earned the right to be in the spotlight for a change because of the hard work and commitment they have put into training and playing, led by their captain Matt Cole-Wilkin.

“The effort that he has put in throughout the season has set a standard that others must follow and the team spirit that he has engendered has been a pleasure to watch.”

Of the first XV’s final, Everitt continued: “The first XV face a daunting task taking on North Walsham but if they put in a performance that they can be proud of then the result will look after itself.

“The players are in good heart and cup rugby does throw up some surprising results so we are looking forward to the challenge.”


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