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Thetford come through another tight match against Crusaders

PUBLISHED: 10:12 20 March 2017

Young Australian Charlie Smith heads for the try line during Southwold's match against East London

Young Australian Charlie Smith heads for the try line during Southwold's match against East London

Archant

Crusaders and Thetford went head-to-head for a second weekend running - with Thetford again coming out on top in a desperately tight encounter.

The previous weekend the Breckland outfit had won 31-25 in the Eastern Counties One to all but clinch the title and on Saturday they scored a late try to edge home 22-21 in the first round of the Norfolk Junior Cup.

Crusaders made a slow start at the weekend and soon found themselves 12-0 down following tries from Will Martin and Josh Clark, one of which was converted by the former.

The hosts reduced the arrears to just five points before the break thanks to a converted try from Jamie Dack and then got their noses in front after the interval.

A Lewis White try was sandwiched in between two Martin penalties for Thetford and then George King touched down to put Crusaders in the driving seat with time running out.

But it was Thetford who had the final say when Martin scored his second try, meaning his side have won the three matches between the clubs this season by margins of one, six and four points.

They join Wymondham, Swaffham and Norwich Medics in the last four of a competition which reaches its climax at finals day at Holt Rugby Club in May.

Meanwhile Southwold suffered a frustrating afternoon at Woodbridge in the final of the Suffolk Cup.

Having had a solid season in London Three North East, with a top half finish guaranteed, the visitors were hoping to pick up some silverware to show for their efforts, but returned home empty handed after losing a tight match 18-15.

It was a surprise defeat, with Woodbridge plying their trade at the lower level of Eastern Counties One, although their visitors were missing a number of key players for the big game.

Southwold made a dreadful start to the final, conceding straight from the kick-off after switching off, but they regrouped and were only 12-10 down at the half-time interval following tries from No 8 John Mayall and prop Adam Smith.

The visitors managed to sneak ahead in the second half when James Barton registered their third unconverted try of the game but two penalties from Woodbridge then proved decisive.

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