Dereham 31 Norwich Union 10 – Winning ‘start’ won’t be a false dawn, says skipper Evans

Dereham after their first win of the season on Saturday. Picture: TIM EVANS

Dereham after their first win of the season on Saturday. Picture: TIM EVANS - Credit: Archant

Dereham met their recent challenges head on and passed with flying colours in their first home game of the season on Saturday.

Norwich Union were the visitors to Moorgate and they found a team fired up and full of spirit, despite pre-season issues as reported in last week's paper – which saw the hosts fail to raise a side for their opening match of the Eastern Counties Greene King League Division Two North clash. Newly-promoted Union opened the scoring from a penalty. Gradually Dereham clawed their way back into the match and were unlucky when they crossed but the ball was judged as held up. They put their noses in front in the 12th minute when a series of pick-and-goes moved the ball wide to winger Jason Harris who ran round the Union defence to score. Ethan Jones converted well.

The hosts' pressure grew and they got the reward their play deserved when Isaia Bobo sold a dummy and crashed over for a converted score to give his team a 14-3 lead at the break.

Dereham went further ahead when a quick tap penalty caught the visitors' defence out of position to allow Tom Huckle to score (unconverted). Bobo soon produced another great individual try (unconverted) and in the closing stages an excellent dummy and delayed pass from Matthew Reece allowed man-of-the-match Harris to cross for his second try, which was converted well from a wide position by Harris. Union responded by running in a converted try of their own at the death.

Dereham captain Marcus Evans, whose side visit Norwich Medics on Saturday, said: 'Following our pre-season difficulties, we were desperate to open our account with a win. Despite everything, the spirit within the players and the club generally is superb. I couldn't have asked for more.

'We're still rebuilding obviously but I feel the foundations are strong and we can, and will, move on. If there are any players out there who would like to be part in this process, they would be most welcome to come to training on a Wednesday night or call 07837 238444 to learn more about our vision for the future.'