Southwold 50 Thetford 3: Title chasers stay in the hunt with comprehensive home win

Zak Loader heads for the try line during Southwold's 50-3 win over Thetford. Picture: Linda Cayley

Zak Loader heads for the try line during Southwold's 50-3 win over Thetford. Picture: Linda Cayley - Credit: Archant

Southwold put in a good all-round display to see off a determined Thetford side and keep their title bid very much on track.

Thetford put the first points on the board early on with a long range penalty and went on to dominate both territory and possession for the first 20 minutes.

But with the wind and rain lashing in their faces, the hosts soaked up the pressure and then struck back with a vengeance.

In the 25th minute the ball was taken well at the lineout close to the line and the pack drove over for Zak Loader to open the scoring with a great forwards' try. Five minutes later there was a carbon copy, with Loader this time breaking through the defensive line and running round to score to the left of the posts, with the conversion good this time.

The next Wold try came when Josh Wallis finished a flowing series of drives and passes when he crashed over under the posts to make it 17-3 at the break.

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Within six minutes of the second half Southwold were firmly in control after scoring two more tries. The bonus point came straight from the kick-off when skipper James Hall collected the ball nearly on the halfway line and simply raced away to score in the left corner. Soon Wold scored again when Dom Hill broke away and fed Jobe Brooks to touch down on the right of the posts, with the conversion taking the score out to 29-3.

Two tries then followed from Jonathan Utting, who had a great game at full back. The first came when he backed up winger James Barton's break and the second when he did likewise after good work from Jacob English, with both tries being converted.

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Ten minutes from time Barton, who was back to his best, sprinted through the Thetford defence to score under the posts and Wold brought up the half century with another seven points.

The win saw Southwold keep pace with Stowmarket at the top of the league, following Stow's commanding bonus point win at Newmarket. It means the league title is still in the balance, with third-placed Ely beating West Norfolk 28-6 to stay in the hunt just six points adrift.

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