Broadland-GY set up last game title decider at Swaffham

Broadland–GY 29 Haverhill 0

Broadland’s unbeaten run continued in the penultimate Eastern Counties Two game of the season with a comfortable bonus point win over Haverhill. With top-placed Swaffham also beating Thetford, the league title will come down to the last game of the season on April 6, when Broadland travel to Swaffham. They need to win by more than eight points, and prevent Swaffham from scoring four tries to take the title. Broadland have scored 229 points in their last five league matches and only conceded eight, so it’s certainly possible.

The weather on Saturday was as challenging as it gets on the edge of Breydon Water. Good running from Simon Coleman and Chris Hewitt moved the ball down the blind side and wing Stacey Ledgerwood got inside the 22 metre line. with a ruck set Kieran Wilkes took a crash ball, bounced two tackles to power over the line.

Scrum half Simon Ruddick reversed play back, fly half Murray carried forward and offloaded to Shaun Howley who stepped his man to score. Howley had a half break just inside the Haverhill half, releasing Peter Gilbey, who capitalised on the space and broke clear of his man. With only the full back to beat Gilbey brushed off the tackle to break and score (converted Murray).

Captain Phil Buckley managed to find a gap at the edge of a ruck and squeezed through to break clear. He drew the full back before offloading to Simon Ruddick who ran untouched to score (converted Murray).

Haverhill were reduced to having to constantly kick clear. ome great interlinking play from Towfighi, White and Gallie moved the ball deep into Haverhill territory. Dwyer, then Jerome carried the ball on before a break down the sideline culminated in Ben Collings outmanoeuvring two defenders to score.

In the second half, Broadland had to contend with playing into the wind and snow, which hampered attacking options, however the defence held solid. Haverhill were struggling with injuries and were reduced to 14, when they had exhausted the replacement bench. Towards the end of the game a Haverhill full back was injured at his goalline and play was stopped for some time. Haverhill were faced with dropping to 13, with only a few minutes remaining, and the snow getting worse the referee called a slightly early finish.

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Tries : K Wilkes, S Howley, P Gilbey S Ruddick, B Collings

Con : Murray 2 of 5

Squad: J Dwyer, P Buckley (capt), M Jerome, K Wilkes, S Coleman, R Gallie, C Hewitt, A Towfighi, S Ruddick, S Murray, S Ledgerwood, S Howley, P Gilbey, B Collings, T Weston

Replacements: M White (35 Mins), A Morrison (40 mins), A Payne (not used)

Swaffham II 12 Broadland-GY II 0

Swaffham got onto the scor sheet by picking up and driving from a ruck five metres out. The Tigers took control of the scrums and this caused the home team to concede a number of penalties, one of which M Pywell narrowly missed. Swaffham went over again and converted to take the score to 12 – 0 at the half time break.

Broadland stepped it up in the second half putting more pressure on in the scrums. Second row D Massingham having a good game on his debut, learning valuable lessons from veteran A Riches Snr. Swaffham went down to 14 when they had a player sin binned due to dangerous play. Broadland weren’t able to capitalise. After some big tackles K Collings had to go off with an injured shoulder and with no replacements Broadland were one player down. A great defensive display by stand-in centres A Riches Jnr and J Buxton kept Swaffham from extending their lead.

Team: G Thompson, K Collins, P Finney(capt), A Riches Snr, D Massingham, J Hall, L Moorhouse, M Cammock, M Stanhope-Smith, M Pywell, J Chaplin-Madden, A Riches jnr, J Buxton, J Lee, J Sewell