Basildon 8 Holt 10 – Late try-saving tackle protects victory
- Credit: Stuart Young
Speedy winger Matt Jary-Ryan put in a perfectly timed try-saving tackle in the last minute of the match to prevent Holt snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and gain four valuable league points.
Holt dominated the first half in spite of playing against the strong wind and retained possession well thus allowing their mobile forwards to gain territorial advantage with impressive drives coming from all eight of the pack.
Scrum-half and captain, Bruce van Poortvielt, fed his backs well and their swift handling caused lots of headaches for the Basildon defence.
The visitors were not able to come to terms with the referee's interpretation of various situations though, which resulted in a string of penalties driving them back into their own half.
Fifteen minutes into the game Holt's mobile second row, Rob Gray, made a charge down the middle of the pitch and the supporting Tom Jackson was on his shoulder to put away Graham Ilsley who side-stepped the Basildon defence to score a try. The conversion attempt failed. At this point Holt were well on top and a break by van Poortvielt would have resulted in a try if the final pass had been on target.
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Towards the end of the first half Holt started to make life difficult for themselves. A careless kick was caught and returned by the Basildon fly-half, as the Holt defence scampered back they got in a muddle which resulted in a five-metre scrum. The Holt pack did well to prevent their line being crossed but conceded a penalty which Basildon converted.
Ilsley was soon on the scoresheet again when he collected a high ball just inside touch and close to the halfway line.
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He then out-witted the Basildon defence with a chip through which he collected to touch down in the corner. The conversion attempt failed to make the score 10-3 at half-time.
The second half was dominated by the referee's whistle and Holt were not able to get back into the rhythm they enjoyed during the first half.
Basildon began to enjoy more possession but were prevented from scoring by the visitors' stout defence and long pressure-relieving kicks by Ilsley and Jackson.
The majority of the second half was played in Holt's half and players and supporters were much relieved when Woodforde's man of the match Jary-Ryan made his game-saving tackle.