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L&Y forwards lead the way

PUBLISHED: 11:45 09 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:35 06 July 2010

ALTHOUGH both sides were depleted from their usual league selections, L&Y and Wisbech renewed last season's rivalry with another well contested and good spirited challenge in this National Junior Vase tie.

LOWESTOFT & YARMOUTH 22, WISBECH 8

ALTHOUGH both sides were depleted from their usual league selections, L&Y and Wisbech renewed last season's rivalry with another well contested and good spirited challenge in this National Junior Vase tie.

L&Y took the spoils on this fourth competitive encounter in 10 months mainly because of their superior forwards, but their young backs again showed a mean defence and glimpses of considerable attacking flair. A high penalty count in the second half due to basic errors and silly misdemeanours kept Wisbech in the game when L&Y should really have pushed the lead beyond sight. The coaches will be working to eradicate these before the sides' next encounter in the league in a fortnight.

The strong wind naturally led to a number of lineouts where L&Y's Ollie Curtis was soaring high to dominate possession. One take 30m out was driven superbly to the Wisbech line, where the defence stopped the maul, but scrum half Josh Fewkes was able to feed Scott Nelson at flyhalf for him to barge under the posts and give himself an easy conversion.

With captain Marc Thomas, Steve Powles, Callum Cashman and Chris Howe all noticeable in the loose, Nelson was soon given the chance to again drive the ball into Wisbech territory. Another lineout inside the 22 gave L&Y the opportunity to repeat their driving maul, and after a sweet peel inside Chris Howe dived through to score.

L&Y were undoubtedly on top, but typically then tried to play too hurriedly which allowed Wisbech to gain more territorial advantage and they eventually landed a second attempt at a penalty to narrow the scoreline after a Powles high tackle.

Three injuries may affect selection in the coming weeks as first Curtis had to retire due to a shoulder injury, then Myles McAlone with a sprained ankle and Jake Titterington with a knee problem. Ben McElroy and Shrek Bristo were straight swaps for the forwards with new young recruit Pete Murkett making his debut in place of McAlone.

Poor Murkett drew the short straw with the wind taking almost every kick to his wing, but he coped admirably as did Dan Boardley who slotted into fullback.

Soon after the break, another superb Nelson touch took L&Y to within 5 metres where hooker Howe pounced on a loose Wisbech deflection for his second try. Wisbech scored after a period of pressure in the L&Y 22 led to quickly taken penalty for offside and their winger being given a huge overlap, but L&Y finished off the game with their fourth try from lineout possession.

Thomas took the ball, before Fewkes set Nelson off on a run deep into the Wisbech 22, after which a series of charges by McElroy, Wayne Nixon and Thomas was finished off when Cashman eventually crashed over.

Team: Nixon, Howe, Titterington J, Curtis, Wilkinson, Powles, Cashman, Thomas, Fewkes, Nelson, Boardley, Adams, Howell, Taylor Crisp, McAlone.

Bench: Bristo, Titterington S, Newton, Castleton, McElroy, Murkett.

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