Holt 25, Braintree 17

Jake van Poortvliet brings the ball forward for Holt against Braintree on Saturday. Jake van Poortvliet brings the ball forward for Holt against Braintree on Saturday.

Alan Gibbs
Monday, October 8, 2012
3:52 PM

Holt bounced back from their heavy defeat at Ipswich last week to record a second straight home win in London 2NE.

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Holt began in a confident mood and were rewarded after five minutes, when Gray scored an unconverted try following a typical driving maul. The pressure was maintained and a three minutes later Hill added his name to the scorers, after another impressive driving maul. With Jackson adding the points, the lead had increased to 12-0.

This setback inspired Braintree and some lively running by their backs was rewarded with an unconverted try after 11 minutes.

The hosts went back on to the offensive and looked to have added to their score, but were pulled back for a forward pass. Then, after another raid on Holt’s line, the vistors scored a converted try after 22 minutes to level the scores.

Holt again came back at their lively opponents and two minutes later, Jackson was on target with a penalty to restore the lead.

The game had entered an interesting phase with the visitors showing a lot of flair and they were rewarded with an unconverted try after 32 minutes to take the lead. The interval came with no further scoring and Holt knew they would have to pull out all the stops in the second half to take the spoils against a determined side.

Holt started the half on the attack and after six minutes a break by Jackson put Justice clear to score an unconverted try to regain the lead at 20-17. With time ticking away very slowly for the Holt supporters the line was holding and from break-outs, the home side went close, only to spoil possession by conceding penalties. But eventually the home side’s perseverance was rewarded when Bruce van Poortvliet made a break down the touchline to score a good individual try, much to the relief of his team and their supporters. Although the conversion was missed, a cushion of 25-17 had been established with 10 minutes remaining and a bonus point had been gained.

The remainder of the game was played out with both sides doing their best to break through and in the closing stages, Holt were awarded a penalty kick for obstruction, but this was not converted. With the final whistle going, the home side had won a pulsating encounter against excellent opposition, who made a full contribution to the entertainment.

Holt were well pleased with their win and full marks to the team, who included five players, aged 20 or under, who more than made their mark on the game. The win keeps Holt just under half way in the table. Holt’s two other teams also won in their respective merit tables, making it an excellent day for the club. The Owls beat Lakenham Hewett 31-12 and the A team won 41-7 against Crusaders II.

Saturday is a rest day for the first team.

and probably for the Owls, but the A XV are away to Fakenham 2nd XV for a friendly. The next league fixture for the 1st team is away to Old Streetonians on the 20th October, who are last but one in the table, involving a lengthy journey to the shadow of the Olympic Stadium.

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