Enfield Ignations 24, Holt 15 – Revival comes too late as visitors return home empty handed

Rugby

Rugby - Credit: PA

Holt were unlucky to return home from Enfield with no points for their efforts – even though the home side deserved the win for being more clinical on the day.

For the first 10 minutes Holt repeatedly battered the Enfield defence but despite good continuity and interplay between forwards and backs they couldn't find a way through.

On 24 minutes, following a penalty, Enfield kicked themselves into Holt's 22 for the first time. Moving the ball wide from the resulting line-out their right winger looped round from the blindside and registered the first points of the match.

Four minutes later Holt's indiscipline cost them a second try as they conceded another penalty. Again a line-out led to the ball being distributed through the backs and this time it was the inside centre who scored under the posts after two missed tackles, with the conversion making it 12-0.

With momentum very much in Enfield's favour a third lineout in Holt territory resulted in the ball going wide for the right winger to kick in behind the defensive line and, after a mix- up, Enfield notched their third try, which was unconverted, to make it 17-0.

Holt appeared to have a mountain to climb but two tries in quick succession brought some hope. First the forwards turned over Enfield at a scrum close to their try line and moved the ball wide to pace man Jim Riley to score an unconverted try out wide. Just before half-time Tom Jackson showed great handling skill to gather an offload by Jack Brewer and score Holt's second unconverted try, leaving the half-time score 17-10.

Holt almost reduced the arrears further but Riley was stopped three metres from the line and it was Enfield who scored next from a swift counter-attack, with the conversion making the score 24-10. Holt still had 20 minutes to get back into the game, but poor handling and a lack of execution was making continuity in possession difficult.

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They eventually managed to convert possession into points when a strong drive to the line by the pack from a line-out ended in a score for captain Bruce van Poortvliet which went unconverted.

With Enfield tiring Holt continued to attack but again unforced errors halted their attacks and the hosts won by a nine-point margin.

The Woodforde's man-of-the-match was awarded to the whole back row of Woods, Sergeant and Chapman, plus Sam Wright, who came off the bench at half-time to play his first game in almost two seasons following knee surgery and made an immediate impact with his tackling and turnovers.

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