Battling Holt extend their perfect record
Holt 22, Wanstead 12: Holt overcame a strong challenge from Wanstead to record their 10th straight win in London 3NE.
The hosts made their usual early inroads but without success as the defence was equal to the occasion.
Wanstead gradually got themselves into gear and after 13 minutes were awarded a five-metre scrum, from which they made no mistake in executing a perfect push-over try. The conversion hit the post.
Holt hit back well, putting the visitors under a lot of pressure, and on occasions looked to have a score there for the taking. They were awarded at least two kickable penalties which were not converted.
The Wanstead defence held firm against concerted attacks, which could not penetrate, leading at times to frustration. The half ended with Holt having had most of the play, since conceding the try and not wiping out the deficit. This was only the second time this season they had been behind at the interval.
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Holt started the second half where they had left off before the break and within two minutes Robson made good ground down his wing and from the ensuing passing, Graham Ilsley scored a try under the posts, making the conversion a formality for Young, to give Holt a 7-5 lead. The leaders now moved into top gear and after 13 minutes they won a line-out 22 metres out and proceeded to drive the Wanstead pack back over their goal line for Ilsley to score his second try of the match. The conversion was off target.
Wanstead showed themselves to be a lively side and came back at Holt, whose defence, again was equal to the occasion. Holt again made inroads into Wanstead's half and were awarded a penalty from which Allen made no mistake to extend the lead to 15-5. The game again saw both sides trying to penetrate each other's defence but Holt were looking comfortable. In fact with four minutes remaining they broke out of defence and some excellent passing saw Jarry-Ryan score in the corner. Allen again was equal to the occasion with an excellent conversion to make the game safe at 22-5.
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However Wanstead were not finished and in the dying moments of the game, in extremely poor light, they scored their second push-over try and with the conversion, narrowed the final score to 22-12.
Holt maintained their position at the top of the league, still with a four point lead over Harlow. Next Saturday is the halfway point of the league programme and Holt travel to play third placed Stowmarket, who will provide a very stern test.