Swanborough leads Norwich to fine win

Romford & Gidea Park 12, Norwich 27Norwich's preparations for the opening league match of the campaign were hampered by the loss of captain Aidy Ball and prop Neil Harris due to injury.

Romford & Gidea Park 12, Norwich 27

Norwich's preparations for the opening league match of the campaign were hampered by the loss of captain Aidy Ball and prop Neil Harris due to injury.

However, the young side, which included debutant prop Ross Filby, led by vice-captain Aaron Swanborough gelled together to produce a splendid away win.

Norwich started brightly and remained camped in the Romford half for the first 20 minutes of the game, maintaining possession throughout. Following a ruck 15 metres out, skipper Swanborough received the ball and scythed through the opposition's defensive line to open the scoring. Centre Hayton-Williams scored the conversion.

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From the kick-off Norwich picked up where they left off and began moving towards the Romford tryline. A solid scrum gave scrum half and man-of-the-match Marczeski an opportunity to break the line of defence and offload to second row Freddie Cook to score in the corner. This time the conversion was missed.

Five minutes later Cook struck again, this time deftly side-stepping past the opposition winger and scoring in the corner. Hayton-Williams scored the conversion to give Norwich a 19-0 half-time lead.

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With the wind and slope in their favour Romford began to exert some pressure of their own on the Norwich team and after 15 minutes of the second half a charged down clearance kick from Norwich led to the Romford flyhalf Michael Price scoring in the corner. The conversion was missed.

Both teams now took turns at keeping possession for short periods before a break by Marczeski and a chip ahead led to wing Tim Perryman outpacing the opposition to gather the ball and score in the corner for Norwich's fourth try. The conversion was missed.

Straight from the kick-off a collision in the air involving several players led to confusion and the Romford No. 8 Steve Barfoot scored under the posts, with Matt Phillips adding the conversion.

A now desperate Romford team could sense that time was slipping away from them and with desperation came mistakes.

Norwich capitalised on one, resulting penalty, and Hayton-Williams calmly struck a penalty to make the score 27-12.

After 97 minutes the referee finally blew his whistle to signal the end of the game and a successful start to Norwich's LondonLeague Division Three North campaign.

“It is pleasing to see that the hard work that the lads put in at training is finally becoming apparent in matches,” commented coach Mel Evans afterwards. “This bodes well for the future.”

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