South Woodham Ferrers 16 North Walsham 25
Early Walsham pressure was cleared by a penalty in the home sides 22 and the strong breeze carried the ball deep into the Walsham half. Following the lineout a penalty gave Ferrers the first points of the game.
Walsham again pushed into the oppositions half and held possession only to see a long clearance send them back to their 22 and another penalty conceded and the score to 6-0.
The Walsham forwards were facing a large and vocal home pack which they were containing well with the irrepressible Oakes forever a thorn in the home side’s efforts and a very tight team ethos keeping good discipline despite useful advice from the local supporters. The backs were experimenting with kicks that proved the wrong tactic against the wind and regularly lost ground. Once the team kept the ball and worked up the field they were rewarded by a penalty converted by Downing from 40 meters.
A late penalty from Ferrers hit the post and caused extreme last ditch defending from Walsham which was finally cleared for half time. (6-3)
Two minutes into the second half saw Ferrers score the first try following good pack and backs play. From the kick off Walsham moved up a gear and the Oakes lineout machine clicked into action. “50 line outs every training season” said the coach, and it paid off three times in twenty minutes.
Good kicks from Downing, Crossley and Fletcher put Walsham in Ferrers 22. Oakes Junior caught the line out, the pack powered over and two tries for Harris plus one for Rogers destroyed the now tired home pack. One conversion from Dewing saw the score at 20-11 to Walsham.
Straight from the kick off a high ball from Crossley saw the dominant Walsham pack secure clean ball for Dewing to set his backs away. Fletcher finished the move with an excellent try in the corner.
Ferrers came back with a well worked late try but it was too late and the watching mothers had the perfect present. 25-11 to Walsham.
Man of the match Oakes put his salmon like leaping skills in the lineout down to the ballet lessons he regularly attends and his father’s obsession with them.