Dereham 36 Beccles 17 – Stern words help inspire a comeback
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Dereham entertained Beccles on Saturday in the Norfolk Junior Cup and cruised to another win against higher-league opposition.
London 3NE Beccles, who play two levels above Eastern Counties Two North Dereham, had probably underestimated their opponents by sending a mixed team of first and second team players for the match at Moorgate. Dereham set the tone as early as the second minute when the home pack absolutely dominated the first few scrums.
The hosts missed a penalty and it was Beccles, against the run of play, who opened their account with a Dereham player not rolling away in the tackle. This setback did not knock the EC2 North team out of their stride. They took the lead when centre Harry Graham broke well with Isisar Bobo in support. The Fijian made 30 yards before releasing Rudy Gant to score in the corner. With half-time approaching, a blatant knock on by a Beccles player was not seen by the referee and their big number eight took full advantage to crash over.
A stern half-time talk from coach Rob Jones lifted the Dereham team who felt aggrieved to be trailing 10-5 at half-time. The intensity of tackling and at the breakdown certainly went up a notch in the second half. Jack Hill at second row was having a fine game both in the line-outs and in open play and from one of his tackles, the ball was fed through the backs to Bobo who ran in from 40 yards.
Chunk Davies was making a welcome return to the front row following injury and a typical charge from him almost resulted in another home score. From another successful line-out, Dereham moved the ball upfield through several phases before Tukana Tukes left the Beccles defence in his wake to score.
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Two Beccles players were sin- binned, leading to a home penalty being converted, and the hosts' Graham saw yellow for persistent infringements. Another Dereham penalty increased their lead and when Hill stole another line-out, Bobo ran in 30 yards to score a great try.
A rare breakaway saw Beccles as a converted try but Dereham hit back with the try of the match, finished off by the rapid Brett Stolworthy.
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Home captain Dan Ponder, whose side host Norwich Medics in the league on Saturday, said: 'It was another match where the preparation and effort on the training field paid off.
'It was great to pitch ourselves against better class opposition and the players certainly gave a really good account of themselves in a great team effort all over the pitch. I hope we can now carry this form into our league programme going forward for the rest of the season.'