Wymondham let it slip in final seconds

Wymondham 14, Newmarket 17: Wymondham contrived, as the clich� goes, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory although this was not a game they deserved to win.

Starting with a much changed line-up Wymondham held out for only three minutes before allowing the Newmarket centre to evade two tackles and cross the line just to the right of the posts. The conversion attempt cannoned off the post and failed to cross the bar.

Wymondham then endured 10 minutes of pressure from the visitors, who were making their weight advantage count in the set scrums.

However, on 14 minutes and deep in his own half, Stephen Simms intercepted a loose pass and outpaced the covering defence to score out wide. Kicker James Wyatt narrowly missed the conversion.

Shortly after Wymondham lost hooker Mark White to the sin bin for 10 minutes for persistent handling in the ruck. Despite being a man down, Wymondham mounted a spirited defence, with Chris Brown at flanker conspicuous by his harrying of the opposition, and managed to hold out until half-time.

Tom Crowe replaced Matthew Bekker on the wing for the home side at the break.

After 11 minutes of the second period the visitors won the ball in midfield and quickly shipped it to their speedy winger who evaded the cover to touch down in the corner for an unconverted try.

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It was now Newmarket's turn to suffer from indiscipline and they conceded a penalty in their own half for failing to release the tackled player. Wyatt duly converted to bring the score back to 10-8 to Newmarket.

Wymondham then won another penalty for offside but Wyatt slotted a difficult kick just wide.

With 30 minutes of the half gone, the Red and Blacks began to exert some pressure of their own and three times the ball was adjudged to have been held up over the line.

Finally, however, with time running out the pressure told. The ball was passed along the line from the fly-half to supporting forward Josh Wright who juggled the pass before gratefully grounding the ball over the line. With the conversion failing, Wymondham had a lead of 15-10 going into the last few minutes.

Sadly for the hosts, with the clock running down, a Wymondham defender, in his own 22, tried desperately to boot the ball into touch but succeeded only in finding the broad chest of a Newmarket attacker who benefited from a kind bounce and gleefully dived over just to the right of the posts to present his kicker with an easy conversion to win the Senior Vase tie.