Swaffham started in earnest; catching Woodbridge from the off and earning a penalty 3 points from full back Joe Milligan in the first few minutes. Swirling wind frustrated Warrior fly half JP Hart’s kicking from hand so it was left to flanker Olly Gray to carry them deep into the visitors 22 and score after some nifty running from wingers Jamie Smith and Christian Hoolihan.
Swaffham rebuilt the attack through its scrum, front row Max Thompson, Welshie Bird and Tom Murray shoving their opposite numbers repeatedly to hold possession and win too many penalties which gave Joe Milligan six more points as the lead moved back and forth. Woodbridge seemed frustrated by poor handling which gave Swaffham opportunities to turn over or intercept, however the Warriors did start to act quicker at the scrum and hold possession while being pushed back. No 8 Jono Cooke worked better with scrum half Josh Bruce to reduce Swaffham’s forward dominance. This first allowed Hart to narrowly miss a kick-through chance that went dead and then saw a move from a failing scrum through the three-quarter to winger Smith who sold a dummy and scored out wide.
The Woodbridge backs restarted with their tails up, Captain Tom Stokes lead an assault down the right frustrated again by penalties. Woodbridge up 10-9 at the break.
The Warriors opened the second session with a rushing dart from fullback Jacob Bodkin to score from the first play. Now Woodbridge’s backs were beginning to get some space, fed from their repeatedly-pressurised pack and, with the wind, Hart was able to use touch to make territory despite some sideways runs from Swaffham’s energetic scrum and fly half pairing of Paddy Simons and Piers Fountaine. Penalties continued and Joe Milligan missed an attempt from the halfway line as both sides upped the tempo in midfield before Woodbridge won a few attackable penalties for Cooke, Nick Woodley, Gray and Tim Johnson to lead a couple of charges and then call on Angus Clogg to slot a kick with Swaffham down to 14 players. Despite this Swaffham retaliated, their forwards mauling aggressively into the Woodbridge half for Milligan to take another 3 points. The last five minutes saw Woodbridge challenge again to hold the 18-12 win in an entertaining match that was anyone’s right to the end.
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