Dereham 84 Wymondham 7 – Hosts show no signs of rustiness by dishing out an EC2 North hammering

It was a triumphant return to action for Dereham on Saturday.

It was a triumphant return to action for Dereham on Saturday. - Credit: PA

Dereham returned to Eastern Counties Two North league action against Wymondham's second string on Saturday following a three-week enforced absence, writes Tim Evans.

The players were champing at the bit and it was to be Wymondham who were to bear the brunt of the exchanges on a wet and windy Moorgate afternoon. This was always going to be a 'forwards day' and, from the kick-off, the home team's big forwards worked the ball up field well through a number of phases before it was released to Harry Graham out wide.

He still had work to do but powered over in the corner despite the close attention of two defenders. Ethan Jones missed the conversion. However, a penalty saw more points added by Jones. From another ruck, Roger Watson made good ground and released the backs well before the ball arrived with winger Brett Stolworthy. He stepped inside the covering defenders to score under the posts (converted).

Dereham forwards were dominant throughout with Andy Brooke and Watson in particular carrying brilliantly which allowed Graham to run another great line to add to the score (unconverted). It was that man Graham again who popped up to complete his hat-trick in the 25th minute.

A converted away try was a wake-up for the hosts who replied with a seven-point score of their own when Chunk Davies crashed over.

The rain did not abate as coach Rob Jones shuffled his pack. Excellent support play enabled Davies to reach well and score (converted). Gilly Amys added a hat-trick, including a wonderful solo try, Barnes Print Ltd (also match ball sponsors) man of the match Jones and Lewis Smith were not to be left out, while Stolworthy had the final say.

Captain Dan Ponder said: 'It was not the best weather for open rugby but we knew that, with our pack, we were more than capable of keeping the ball for long periods.

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'Add to this the explosive nature of our backs who can capitalise on the good field positions made, we were hopeful that we could give a good account of ourselves and this is what transpired.'

Dereham, second, visit league leaders Great Yarmouth-Broadland – who have played one game more – on Saturday.