Brave Holt fall at the final hurdle

HAC 26, HOLT 9: Holt fell at the final hurdle in the London and SE Area Junior Vase when they were beaten by The Honourable Artillery Company.

They lost to the best side they had played all season in Saturday's final but made them work extremely hard for their success at Old Albanians' ground in Hertfordshire.

Holt did well to withstand some early pressure and took the lead after 16 minutes when Allen kicked a penalty. To build on the lead was always going to be difficult and, following a charged down kick, HAC gained possession with a well executed driving maul and scored a converted try.

The army side, who surrendered home advantage because their ground in London was being used for cricket, were pegged back five minutes later when Allen slotted over another penalty, but soon replied with a successful kick of their own.

With the break approaching, Holt had a very good chance to score a try, but the ball was knocked on and the chance was lost.

The second half began with HAC again testing Holt's defence, which stood firm, and midway through the period Allen kicked his third penalty to reduce the deficit to one point before missing another long range effort.

The HAC then attacked Holt's line and were rewarded with a try four minutes later to extend their lead to 15-9. They added two further penalties to make the game safe before being gifted a try in the dying moments of the contest.

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Holt had taken a large contingent of supporters with them, who throughout the game lent tremendous vocal support and although their team did not take the spoils, had been entertained to a very committed game in scorching conditions.

Holt must now pick themselves up for another big game, with Millwall heading to High Kelling on Saturday in the league play-off, with the winners earning promotion to London 3NE.

• Southwold 3, Beccles 31

Beccles rounded off a successful campaign when they beat Southwold in the annual Pony Moore Trophy fixture.

The visitors withstood some early pressure before taking the lead just before half-time when Musker McIntyre man of the match Rob Wilson blasted his way through, with Wade adding the conversion.

Beccles took control in the second half, with new recruit Coleman quickly touching down and Wade again converting.

Southwold reduced the arrears with a penalty, but it was swiftly cancelled out by Wade and Beccles completed the victory with further tries from Davey-Durak and Long, with first Wade and then Murray converting.

Earlier Beccles had dominated the second team clash between the two clubs, winning 59-0.