Mersea Island 13 Norwich 21
Norwich travelled to bottom of the table Mersea Island with several changes in the side that ran Lowestoft and Yarmouth so close the previous week. Ross Adnitt was restored at no 8 after injury but Gareth Leake was unavailable in the second row. It was therefore an inexperienced pack that took the field for Norwich with Tom Lloyd and Ethan Treble-Westlake both 21 making up a very young second row. Added were Lewis Ball at prop aged 19 and David Micklethwaite aged 17 at flanker. This was the youngest set of forwards Norwich had turned out for years and very well they acquitted themselves against some old heads in the opposition.
The hosts took the lead with a penalty after 7 minutes from David Didge from in front of the posts . Norwich always looked the more enterprising of the 2 sides but did not help their cause by giving away needless penalties. However they took the lead a little against the run of play when fly half Jonny Wheater ran in unopposed under the posts to give Rob Micklethwaite an easy conversion after 15 minutes.
Norwich tried very hard to get control of the game but every time they looked like doing so they gave away a penalty which kept the hosts in the game and it was as much as they deserved when centre Paul Le Marquand went over half way out to give them the lead. Didge failed with the conversion.
The referee not surprisingly was getting fed up with the number of penalties and yellow carded David Micklethwaite when the youngster went over the top at a ruck .While he was off the park his brother Rob playing in the centre scored a lovely individual try under the posts which he duly converted to give Norwich the lead at half-time 14-8.
The second half was a pretty dreary affair played in constant drizzle with neither side seeming able to hang onto possession long enough to create scoring opportunities. However with 15 minutes left the game came to life when Le Marquand scored his second try for the hosts which Didge could not convert to bring them to within a point.
This meant for a nerve wracking closing minutes for Norwich. Fortunately Wheater wrapped up the game for Norwich with an injury time try after a fine break which Rob Micklethwaite calmly converted from wide out to give Norwich the points.
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