Holt 28, Chelmsford 27
- Credit: Archant
Iain Young completed his hat-trick in the dying seconds and then converted a high pressure kick himself to clinch a dramatic win for Holt.
With England's Youngs brothers Tom and Ben looking on, the visitors made the early running on a perfect playing surface and were rewarded with an unconverted try after two minutes. This early reverse stung Holt into a response against a side who looked very lively in their backs and after 14 minutes Young took a scoring pass to open the account and with Jackson adding the points, the lead had been taken at 7-5.
This lead was lost immediately when the visitors were awarded a penalty and they increased their lead after 25 minutes with a breakaway try and with the conversion, had moved 7-15 ahead.
The home side were striving to regain the initiative, but were up against a determined side who added further to their lead after 30 minutes with another converted try. With the half ticking away, Holt threw everything at Chelmsford who were reduced to 14 men after a yellow card by besieging their goal line and were rewarded when Woods scored following a five metre scrum. Jackson was equal to the occasion with an excellent conversion, making the half time score 14-22.
Holt knew they would have to pull out all the stops in the second half but they found themselves further behind following an interception for an unconverted try. Holt then found themselves one man down following a yellow card but this setback inspired them to put pressure back on their opponents and following a determined attack, Young scored his second try of the match. He was also successful with conversion, bringing his side within reach at 21-27 with nearly half an hour remaining, setting the stage for a pulsating finale.
For all Holt's efforts, they could not make the break through and also did not help their cause with lack of discipline. The minutes were gradually ticking away and it was beginning to look as though Chelmsford would achieve the double, but fortunately providence was on Holt's side when a mistake was pounced upon and play swept towards the visitor's goal line.
Following some quick inter passing Young finished off the move to complete his hat-trick to bring the score to within one point of Chelmsford's.
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The result now hinged on the conversion and for those who could bear to watch, Young was more than equal to the occasion by striking the conversion between the posts and with the final whistle going at the next break down, Holt had achieved another last gasp victory.
They had scored four tries to earn a bonus point and although their opponents had gained two, the home side moved up to fourth place in the table with their 11th victory out of 17 games played. On Saturday, Holt travel to Essex to play Saffron Walden.