Dereham rugby’s exciting blend

AFTER a narrow, hard-fought victory against Fakenham, Dereham continued their build up to the league season with another rugby derby, against Watton at Moorgate on Saturday.

Both sides fielded teams hoping to blend a successful mix of youth and experience and play attractive, open rugby.

The home side set the tone after only two minutes when a Watton scrum was disrupted and the ball was turned over and moved wide, and a slick piece of handling by Chris Fish put Lewis into space on the wing where he showed great pace to score in the corner.

Dereham doubled the lead before Watton's persistent pressure in closing down the Dereham backs resulted in an intercepted pass and the first signs of a fightback.

The Watton pack piled on the pressure close to the Dereham line through a succession of penalty moves. But despite putting together good phases of play, the Dereham defence held firm and finally a turn over allowed Jack Edwards to clear to touch and gain his team a valuable 30 yards of ground.

The home side looked solid at both line-out and scrummage. Marcus Evans showed the accuracy, throwing into the line, that had typified his performances in the Barbarians youth team, and he was able to hit his jumpers, Dan Ponder and Tom Edwards at will.

With a good platform to work from the backs enjoyed one of their most prolific afternoons for a long time with tries from Chester, Younie, Edwards (2), and support from Canning, Evans and Ruddy Gant to wrack up an impressive 48-point total.

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First team captain Andy Brooks was full of praise for the youngsters: 'It's great to have new talent making such an impact in the side. It gives Dereham a fresh breath of energy and enthusiasm.

'Young Marcus Evans was our man of the match today, and at only 17 he's a great prospect for the future. We know there will be some tough times in the league, but if we keep improving and stick together we'll have a great season.'