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Thetford and Swaffham share the rugby spoils

23:24 03 April 2012

Thetford v Swaffham derby action at Two Mile Bottom.

Thetford v Swaffham derby action at Two Mile Bottom.

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Thetford 12 Swaffham 12

A draw probably helped neither side towards their promotion goal. It did move Swaffham up to second place, but having completed all their league fixtures.

Thetford and Thurston will both move above them if they win their final games in two weeks’ time – with Thetford relying on a Thurston defeat to allow them to steal the second promotion spot behind Hadleigh.

Thetford took the lead with two penalties in the first 20 minutes, both nailed by captain Liam Burnell.

But Swaffham hit back with their free running backs launching waves of attacks which led to a try wideout for Matt Smith.

Thetford tried to run at the Swaffham defence, but when one of these moves was thwarted, the ball fell to Steve Jode, who kicked ahead for Steve Greenwood to race in under the posts to make give the visitors a 12-6 interval lead.

Thetford began the second half exactly as they had the first with Burnell pinning Swaffham back with some exquisite kicking.

With Thetford man of the match Oliver Taylor and Johns now completely dominating the breakdown and turning over anything that come near them it was only a matter of time before Swaffham again gave away a penalty, Tony Watson stepped up to open his account in the game.

With the game now finely balanced, it was Thetford who looked more likely to score.

With the front row of Stokoe, Williams and Allen now pushing the Swaffham pack back at every opportunity it was by the way of another penalty that put Thetford back on level terms with the boot of Burnell.

“We always knew this was going to be a massive game,” said Burnell.

“Swaffham like us are in with a shout of promotion and neither team gave an inch. The players didn’t let me down.”

Thetford’s last league is on Saturday week against Mistley.

With their league campaign over, Swaffham will now concentrate on preparing for the Norfolk Junior Cup final on April 22 when they travel to face Crusaders from EC Div 1.

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