Wymondham's fine show of rugby

ON a chilly December afternoon the present, past and absent players of Wymondham Rugby Club came together to produce an exciting game of full-blooded rugby.

ON a chilly December afternoon the present and past players of Wymondham Rugby Club came together to produce an exciting game of full-blooded rugby.

No quarter was given or asked by either side in a true gladiatorial exhibition of the sport.

A crowd of around 200 turned out to witness this spectacle, a testament to the club's continuing policy of producing a steady stream of quality players who now grace the ranks of Walsham, Cambridge, Southend, Barcelona, Hartpury College - and many of these now returned to make up the Exiles.

The Exiles though started sluggishly and allowed the Wymondham XV to establish an early lead when club captain, John Morfoot, smashed his way over for a try in the corner.

This lead they held for the next 15 minutes as they attempted to impose their superior size and experience over the young upstarts.

However, if the first quarter had been Wymondham's then the second went convincingly to the Exiles as they managed to string some scintillating moves together.

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It was FC Barcelona's Teddy Shelton who brought scores level and then two minutes later Walsham's Iain Young grabbed the Exiles' second score with a solo run from halfway.

The Exiles now hit a purple patch, throwing some outrageous passes with ex-Rotherham Titans Academy player Will Crossley foremost in much of the action before teenager Robert Trounce increased the Exiles' lead.

From the re-start Shelton grabbed his second try with Will Bayliss-Brown converting and the crowd sensed a flood of tries in the second half.

Wymondham though had other ideas and shored up their defence and changed the game plan, using their considerable size and power to tighten up the game.

Tries from Darren Anema and then Shane Hickey brought home team back into the fight but the young Exiles managed to hold out for a well-deserved 24-15 victory and set the scene for a re-match next Christmas.

This was a fitting tribute to a “small” rugby club of some 1100 members, only formed 37 years ago, which can produce such quality rugby and engender such a wonderful family atmosphere.