Second in league after fine season
Broadland-Great Yarmouth 22, Dereham 25
LOOKING to finish their season with a 100 per cent home record, Broadland — Great Yarmouth started promisingly against a spirited Dereham side.
After soaking up pressure, Broadland pushed their way downfield with some bruising runs from Kieran Wilkes and Andy Riches.
With good field position scrum half Buckley sent the Dereham defence the wrong way, and a pass to the blindside left Asa Morrison with an easy walk-in try in the corner (converted T Weston).
Dereham hit straight back with two quick tries against the run of play.
Broadland began to build patiently and put the ball wide to Tristan Barber who made good yards before offloading to Chris Hewitt. He passed to Morrison on the inside who went through to score untouched from 20 yards (unconverted).
Despite their control on the game and strong defensive play from Matt Beckett and Rye Bilyard – who put in several crunching hits – Dereham broke again to score and leave Broadland behind at half-time in a game they were dominating.
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The second half started just as badly with Dereham putting on the points to take a lead of 13 points.
This only served to inspire Broadland and after good work from centre Ash Lightfoot to steal Dereham ball, full-back Tom Weston hit the gap and barged his way over the line (unconverted).
Due to injuries, flanker Ed Dixon moved into the centre and burst into life, causing the Dereham defence all sorts of problems.
Eventually, after a big break, the ball found its way to captain Adam Towfighi who set up wing Ben Collings to score (unconverted).
Broadland had time on their side and really pushed for the win.
Good support from flankers Chris Hewitt and Richard Ruddick allowed the play to keep flowing and quick ball from Phil Buckley was causing trouble to a back-peddling Dereham defence.
Fly-half Simon Ruddick was distributing well, and as time ran down Broadland found themselves a metre short of the goal line, in a great position to win the game.
However, they were adjudged to have knocked the ball on at the ruck and the final whistle sounded.
Despite losing the unbeaten home record, Broadland still finished second in the league and have had a fantastic season.
Team: B Collings, T Barber, T Weston, A Lightfoot, L Howlett, S Ruddick, P Buckley, A Riches, R Bilyard, M Beckett, K Wilkes, A Morrison, C Hewitt, E Dixon, A Towfighi (captain). Replacements: R Ruddick (40 minutes); W Gibbs (47); J Williamson (50).
Tries: A Morrison, 2; T Weston; BCollings. Conversions: T Weston, 1 of 2; A Lightfoot, 0 of 2.