Holt and Norwich share points in thrilling derby

holt try

holt try - Credit: Archant

Holt 17 Norwich 17

Holt put an end to Norwich's winning run with the closest of encounters ending in a draw, with each side scoring two converted tries and a penalty, writes Iain McBrayne.

As a result both sides earned two points which means that Norwich drop to third and Holt remain sixth in London Two North East.

Holt started strongly and were rewarded with a penalty after five minutes which they failed to convert.

Norwich rose to the challenge and gradually began to dominate territory and possession. Good defensive work by the hosts frustrated them until their fly-half John O'Brien broke through to score a try converted by JC Brown.

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Towards the end of the first half the rain arrived and Holt seemed to adjust better to the slippery conditions. Norwich did not help themselves when a player was yellow-carded for offside, leaving the team with 14 men.

Holt took advantage, with fly-half Gareth Mears reducing the arrears with a penalty to make the score 3-7. At this critical point in the game, just before half-time, Holt winger Matt Jary-Ryan out-paced the Norwich defence for a try converted by Mears to give Holt a lead of 10-7.

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The second half started with Holt continuing as they left off. After a period of pressure on the Norwich line, Holt fly-half Mears cut through the visitors' defence to feed lock forward Rob Gray, who scored a try which was converted by Mears, increasing the home advantage to 17-7.

Despite the score looking ominous for them Norwich showed great resolve, with their forwards working well together to win several turn-over balls. The resultant possession was rewarded by a penalty converted by Brown followed by a fine break by winger Chris Parrott, for a try converted by Brown to bring Norwich level at 17-17.

The last 10 minutes were nail-biting for supporters of both teams. With good defensive work Holt managed to survive the final onslaught by Norwich who, overall, had more possession but were not able to convert their opportunities into tries.

In this derby both sides fought it out to the end, showing great spirit and tenacity.

Woodfordes man of the match for Holt was winger James Riley who was outstanding in both defence and attack.

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