Holt 24, Ipswich 15

Paul Amiss on a charge that set up a try for Ashley Woods in Holt's fine 24-15 victory over Ipswich

Paul Amiss on a charge that set up a try for Ashley Woods in Holt's fine 24-15 victory over Ipswich at High Kelling on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

Holt turned in a high quality performance to see off second placed Ipswich and move up to the heady heights of third in London 2NE, just four points behind the Suffolk side.

Ipswich were hoping to complete the double over the hosts, having won the first encounter by a comfortable margin of 52-18, but Holt had other ideas following a morale boosting win at Stowmarket last week. The pitch was in good condition, setting the stage for an entertaining game between two running sides.

Holt were quickly off the mark, not giving their opponents time to settle, and Howick finished of a good move to score a try, with Young adding the extra points. The home side maintained the pressure and the reward came when Woods scored a try following a good move and with Young again on target with the conversion the lead had increased to 14-0 at the midway point of the half.

Ipswich were doing their best to make inroads into Holt's defence but were up against a determined team who were making their tackles count. However the hosts fell foul of the referee and lost a player to the sin bin after 35 minutes. Ipswich kicked the penalty to reduce the lead and on the stroke of half-time took advantage of the extra man to score an unconverted try, making the score at the break 14-8. This was a well deserved lead for Holt following some inspired play by a rejuvenated side, who obviously were not fazed about playing a side above them in the league.

The home side began the second half on the offensive, taking play well into Ipswich's half, but were unable to make the breakthrough. It was then their turn to defend, coping well with what Ipswich threw at them.

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After 11 minutes, following a break- out from defence, Woods finished off another positive move to score his second try, which went unconverted. The lead now stood at 19-8 and Holt were playing in a very competent manner, making their opponents fight for any possession.

Ipswich then committed an offence, which resulted in one of their players being sent to the bin and Holt were quick to take advantage of the extra man.

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Jake Van Poortvliet touched down for an unconverted try following a driving maul, increasing the lead to a healthy 24-8 with a quarter of an hour remaining with a bonus point, having scored four tries.

At this stage, the game went into uncontested scrums, as the prop who was sent off, could not at this stage, be replaced. Holt still kept up the pressure but could not finish off good possession and as the game entered it's final stages, Ipswich mounted a final attack and penetrated a rather tired defence for a converted try.

This was an excellent win for Holt, who played with a new found belief and once they had taken an early lead, they never looked back and revenge had been achieved. They have now won nine of their 13 league games – a fine tally for a side who only a couple years ago were playing in the Eastern Counties League.

On Saturday, Holt are on the road again into Essex to play Braintree, who are in mid-table but are gaining some convincing home wins and will be looking to dent Holt's winning run and to avenge a narrow 25-17 defeat earlier in the season.

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