Watton RFC get back to winning ways against West Norfolk
Watton travelled to North Wootton near Kings Lynn hoping to get another Woodfordes Merit League One victory on the board and settle themselves after the disappointment of last week's 29-0 defeat to league leaders Diss.
After the referee's pre-game chat, Watton were confident they were going to be able to play the expansive game that has worked well in getting results so far this season. Unfortunately after a minute or two it became clear that it was going to be a stop-start afternoon and Wests were not going to roll over, putting early pressure on the Red and Blacks and causing them to give away a penalty, taking a 3-0 lead.
This seemed to kick-start Watton and strong runs from Bobby Graham-Park, Wayne Jolly and Joe Norman took them deep into the Wests' half. After sustained pressure West committed the sin of not rolling away which gave Alex Lamberson, within kicking range, the opportunity to level the scores at 3-3.
From the kick-off Matt Goodwin charged up the field, when he was finally brought down Wests gave away another penalty. Watton decided to continue the pressure and put the ball into the corner, to go for the seven points.
Watton lost ball at their lineout but Goodwin barged through and charged down the clearance. The ball was scrambled as far as James Clarke who made ground and offloaded to Lamberson who touched down in the corner and converted his own try, to make the score 10-3.
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Watton at this stage had the lion's share of possession, continually putting pressure on the West Norfolk side. Finally Wests' very resolute defence gave way and Clarke outpaced the cover to dot down, again Lamberson successful with the kick, for a 17-3 lead.
With 15 minutes left Watton started to open up, having the ascendency in both scrum and lineout. From one strong scrum Watton moved the ball to Richard Stone who put the ball back inside to Lamberson who on a sublime line ran two thirds of the pitch before being caught. He had the composure to offload to the charging Michael Stickland on his outside who scorched down the wing to slide in for a score, to lead 22-3.
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Unfortunately at this point the referee pulled a hamstring and after consulting both captains decided to end the game 13 minutes short of time. Due to the game being beyond the 60-minute mark Watton are hoping the result stands, which puts them back up to third in the league.
This week's Wayland Agricultural Society man of the match was Paul Norman, who answered the call at the 11th hour to play, having not played rugby for over a year.
More tough opposition on Saturday as Watton play host to Holt II in ML1, a must-win game if they are to stay in contention with the title chasers. Kick-off at Dereham Road at 2pm.