Holt 21, Old Cooperians 5 – Special Brewer stars in hard-earned win

Graham Ilsley on the attack for Holt in the first half.Picture: STUART YOUNG

Graham Ilsley on the attack for Holt in the first half.Picture: STUART YOUNG - Credit: Archant

Holt returned to winning ways as they saw off a determined Old Cooperians side on a day when the conditions were quite awful.

With the wind, rain and snow showers to their backs Holt were able to make occasional breaks into their opponents' half but the strength of Old Cooperians pack ensured their dominance in the set-pieces for the first 40 minutes.

Backed up by great tactical kicking from their 10 and strong running lines through their backs it was Old Cooperians who looked the more likely team to score. However, a mixture of unforced handling errors and strong defence ensured the score remained 0-0 after a half littered with penalties for minor infringements at the breakdown.

With the weather advantage in the second half the visitors launched a series of relentless attacks from which they should have scored but Holt's strong defence, led by Woods, Sergeant and Phoenix in the tight and Humberstone, Ilsley and Jarry-Ryan out wide, kept them out and Ilsley scored an interception try, from his own 10-metre line, which he converted.

Old Cooperians now threw everything at Holt and, for the next 20 minutes, looked like they would score at any time but Holt's defence, led by Poortvliet, Canning and Amis, ensured there was no breach. With their efforts going unrewarded Old Cooperians' pack began to slow down, allowing the Holt pack to gain the ascendancy in the tight. Some strong runs from Cole, Jackson and Hill now pushed the visitors backwards, producing quicker ball. Coach Ed Steed began to ring the changes, bringing on Loan and Chapman into the back row and veteran Eastern Counties prop Bailey into the front row. These fresh legs produced the desired result and following a breakdown Gray took the ball on at pace through the centre, offloading to Brewer, who scored Holt's second converted try of the afternoon.


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From the kick-off Simmons gathered the ball and passed to Brewer, who scored a third converted try of the afternoon, making the score 21-0.

Old Cooperians never gave up and scored a much deserved try out wide when their 15 Fayers went over following a series of decisive backs moves into Holt's half. In a game where conditions dictated the flow of the game Woodforde's man-of-the -match was Brewer.

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Holt II beat Norwich II 24-14 and Holt III beat Crusaders II 29-0.

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