Heavy rain made opening exchanges very slippery as Woodbridge started with a penalty attempt and intercepted the ensuing 22 drop out to maintain pressure through Tim Johnson and Tom Stokes. Stowmarket cleared with both sides using the boot but Stowmarket was penalised for holding on and offside. Woodbridge failed to take points despite several frustrated visits to the Stow 22. It was the visitors that drew first blood with the Warriors conceding an offside penalty kicked by full back Dan Garrard. The aerial bombardment continued with both sides fighting for an advantage from the wet conditions, runs from Warriors Tom Stokes, Jono Cooke and Sam Hallows coming to nothing. Territory and possession remained fairly even as both sides increased the physicality, substitutions and tempers became frayed. Towards the break Woodbridge conceded another penalty for Garrard to take three more points. Stowmarket‘s forwards renewed their onslaught, pressuring the home defence with a superior scrum, Ben Honeyball, Jack Hayward and No8 Colin Clarke driving hard and winning a penalty try for side entry – 0-13 at the break
Woodbridge’s backs launched three moves down the left wing from the restart but it was pressure on the right that released Matt Bowman with a long pass to Lee Barton offloading to hard working Jono Cooke to score. Clean ball became harder for Woodbridge to secure with the Stowmarket scrum dominating. The visitors made significant runs into the home 22 spinning the ball confidently across field, running back clearances and peppering the home touch. They very nearly scored on the left after pushing Woodbridge back three times on their own scrum followed by a 30 metre stampeding run from busy fly half Tom Crowe. Woodbridge’s backs made a couple of breaks on the left and Smith kicked a penalty but it was Stowmarket that battled their way back up field and put in several forward phases before releasing quickly to Scott Woolnough to score wide on the left. Play stayed in the home 22 with several more big pushes from the Stow pack but the Warriors defence held to end a rather bad-tempered match 8-20.
Woodbridge Warriors 8 v Stowmarket 20