Stowmarket in good heart
RUGBY UNION: Stowmarket 31 Harwich 5. Stowmarket set up next week's Eastern Counties Division Two North title-decider against Colchester when they recorded a comprehensive victory in appalling conditions at Chilton Fields.
Stowmarket 31 Harwich 5
STOWMARKET set up next week's Eastern Counties Division Two North title-decider against Colchester when they recorded a comprehensive victory in appalling conditions at Chilton Fields.
Stowmarket were quickly into their stride and full-back Gary Dade kicked them into an early lead from a close-range penalty.
With only five minutes on the clock the hosts had a 10-0 advantage when Nobby Shaddick burrowed over from close in following a superb handling move in spite of the conditions.
Stowmarket increased their lead with another converted score when lock Paul Charlick powered over to extend the advantage to 17-0, but they lost their way a bit and failed to add to their score before the interval.
Pack leader Tony Crowe had some choice words to say to the forwards during the break and the second period started with the hosts attempting to regain the upper hand against the elements.
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Harwich tried to make a contest of the match and continued to have some good possession without ever looking likely to score.
Stowmarket then added to their lead when a superb break from stand-off Paul Roberts opened up the visitors' defence for centre Jamie Warner to stroll home unopposed before Roberts himself scored a brilliant individual try under the posts, Dade converted both for a 100 per cent return with the boot.
With time running out and conditions deteriorating rapidly, Stowmarket attempted a risky backs move which went horribly wrong to enable the Harwich left wing to kick ahead and score a consolation try in the corner to complete the scoring.
Stand-in captain Steve Wilding was delighted with the result, which puts the team in good heart for next weekend's title decider away to unbeaten leaders Colchester.