RUGBY UNION: West Norfolk maintained their lead at the top of Eastern Counties League One with a hard-fought 20-15 victory over Harwich & Dovercourt at Gatehouse Lane on Saturday.

The hosts fielded an experimental back line, due to unavailabilities, and saw a new starting centre partnership of Alex Singleton and Sean Brundle with Will Hopkins moving to the wing.

West went ahead when fly-half Ed Maule make a slicing break and a neat offload to full-back Ross Biggs saw him run in to score, with Maule converting for a 7-0 lead.

Maule made it 10-0 with a penalty before the home forwards were penalised for leaving their hands in the ruck and Harwich hit back with a penalty of their own.

Harwich attacked with some well worked crash balls and were rewarded with a try to leave the scores at 10-8 going into the break.

West started the second half brightly with another penalty from Maule but the match turned into a massive defensive effort from the hosts as Harwich threw everything at them.

Nonetheless, West persevered and a break from the backs ended with Singleton cutting the defenders to shreds to score, with Tulip man of the match Maule converting to extend the lead to 20-8.

In the dying moments Harwich broke through for another try, enabling them to take home a bonus point.