It was bad day at the office for West Norfolk at Harlow.
They lost their London League Three North East match 23-17 but were relieved to even field a team, having been involved in a crash on the way.
Three cars carrying players were involved in a road accident on the A10, resulting in captain Jamie Williamson having to pull out at the last minute with whiplash. A few other players were shaken up and the team only arrived 30 minutes before kick-off.
Despite this, West started brightly with a series of quickly recycled phases and a sharp show-and-go from Ollie Ridout at the ruck saw him scoot between a couple of Harlow defenders to open the scoring. Dave Harrison added the conversion.
Harlow then pinned West deep in their own 22 area but had only a penalty to show for their efforts to reduce the gap to 7-3.
A slick flowing backs move released winger Will Knox, who skipped through a trailing defence to score in the left corner.
Harlow hit back immediately with a try of their own after a lapse in West’s tackling. A tremendous catch and drive from the lineout saw West come within a whisker of scoring, but the half ended with a 12-8 lead.
Another penalty reduced Harlow’s deficit to a single point before a controversial try was awarded to the hosts, despite it appearing that the ball was held up.
To rub salt into Wests wounds, a wayward boot resulted in Yousef Edris coming off with concussion
Despite some good quality turnovers from Freddie Playford and Rory O’Sullivan, a well worked move out wide saw Harlow extend their lead to 23-12.
Determined to regain the advantage, West went on the front foot when Jack Hoyles gave Harlow the slip to split open their defence to close the gap at 23-17.
A missed penalty prevented the hosts from extending their lead as West looked to up the tempo to stretch their opponents defence in the final moments.
The losing bonus point means West stay third with just three fixtures to go.
Adrian Flux man of the match was Rory O’Sullivan.
This weekend sees West host Swaffham in the Junior Norfolk Cup, 3pm.