Battling Holt secure deserved derby victory over Norwich in London Two North-East
08:45 22 December 2014
Norwich’s poor run of form continued as they lost a game which they seemed to have the upper hand in just after half-time.
With a spirited second-half display Holt thoroughly deserved their win as they rocked Norwich back on their heels.
Norwich started brightly but handling errors prevented them from converting this into points. Holt should then have taken a six-point lead but centre Graham Ilsley was wide with two comparatively simple penalty chances. After 18 minutes it was Norwich who opened the scoring with a try from a rolling maul from Pete Hosking following a lineout just inside the Holt 22. Fly-half Jay O’Brien could not manage the conversion.
The game see-sawed this way and that before Norwich No 8 Laurence Austin went over in the corner to increase the lead, with the conversion being missed. Just as Norwich were looking to go into the break with a 10-0 lead Holt’s No 8 Ashley Woods crashed over near the posts to reduce the arrears. Fortunately for Norwich Ilsley missed the conversion, leaving the score at the interval 10-5.
Norwich were quick out of the blocks in the second half and after three minutes forced a lineout near the Holt line. They set up a rolling maul and it was flanker David Micklethwaite who went over halfway out. The conversion was missed.
Norwich then didn’t help themselves by losing four consecutive lineouts. The Holt forwards, sensing blood, upped their game and it was all they deserved when second row Robbie Gray went over under the posts to give Ilsley an easy conversion.
Norwich came under increasing pressure and when skipper Gareth Leake was sin binned the writing was on the wall. Holt opted for a scrum from the ensuing penalty and right wing Matt Jarry-Ryan went over in the corner before Ilsley landed a magnificent conversion which wrapped the game up.
Holt’s back-row of Woods, Sergeant and Fryer were outstanding and the Woodfordes man-of-the-match was awarded to Rory Fryer, another product of the youth system.