Stowmarket 56, Wymondham 15: Relegation misery for Wtmondham
Wymondham bowed out of the London Leagues after a heavy defeat to a Stowmarket side who secured a second successive promotion.
Despite the score, the Red and Blacks showed flashes of the quality that is present in the team and will be looking to regroup and mount a strong challenge in Eastern Counties One next season.
The large and enthusiastic home crowd suffered an initial period of anxiety as Wymondham started with real purpose, forcing Stowmarket into conceding a series of penalties of kickable range. The Wymondham coaches had calculated that their only chance of avoiding relegation was to record a win with a bonus point and therefore declined the easy points from penalties in favour of touch kicks to set up the catch and drive for the line. Unfortunately they were unable, as so often this season, to convert pressure into points and, Stowmarket broke out of their half to score wide out on the right. The kicker added the tricky conversion and then added a couple of penalties.
Wymondham then lost forward Phil Johnson for 10 minutes after he was deemed to have gone off his feet at a breakdown. Stowmarket made the most of their advantage and, following some fine midfield running, they created an overlap and ran in another try which was duly converted to leave the score 23-0 at the break.
Wymondham started the second half with renewed vigour and with five minutes gone, a good piece of opportunism by scrum-half Harry Anderson-Brown saw him gather from a knock-on. The ball was shipped along the line where Josh Wright linked well to cross the line for a score which was not converted.
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Stung into action, Stowmarket responded with another try which this time went unconverted.
Stowmarket were penalised for obstruction straight from the restart and the resulting kick was put into touch seven metres from the line. An excellent catch and drive saw David Blake propelled over the line to score a try which again went unconverted to make the score 28-10.
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A period of sustained pressure on the Wymondham line saw Stowmarket reap their reward with two tries in quick succession, adding a further 12 points.
Having secured their win, Stowmarket were now able to relax and demonstrate their promotion form and an inspired piece of backs play from deep in their own half earned them the best try of the match, quickly followed by another score from a five metre scrum.
Not to be outdone, Wymondham responded with an excellent try of their own when the two wingers, Brugger and Martin, combined with strong runs to put the ball over the line in the left wing position.
A further home try from a scrum completed the scoring.
The Wymondham coaches will now reflect on a season where, but for their side's inability to capitalise on winning positions, they could have occupied a mid-table position.