Holt overturn big half-time deficit to claim dramatic victory

Woodfordes man of the match Mark Sergeant got Holt on the score sheeteight minutes into the second h

Woodfordes man of the match Mark Sergeant got Holt on the score sheeteight minutes into the second half for 18-5 against South Woodham Ferrers. Picture: Stuart Young. - Credit: Stuart Young

Holt made amends for a poor first period with a second half surge as they recovered from 18-0 down to secure a one-point victory against South Woodham Ferrers in London 2NE.

Over 200 supporters were entertained by two evenly matched sides who slugged it out to the end, each of them enjoying purple patches and defending stoutly.

The hosts were much relieved when the visitors failed to convert a penalty immediately before the final whistle that would have given them the win.

South Woodham were the livelier side from the kick-off and within 10 minutes were eight points ahead from a penalty and an unconverted try.

At this stage the visitors were regularly testing the Holt defence and began to get a stranglehold on the game.

Two more unconverted tries made the score 18-0 at half-time and it appeared as though Holt's disappointing home form this season would continue.

Coach Ed Steed made some tactical changes and following his harsh words during the break a revitalised Holt side were soon on the scoreboard with an unconverted try from Mark Sargent following a tidy line-out catch and drive by their forwards.

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Holt began to test the visitors' defence which was exemplified by an excellent break by Sargent and another well-executed driving maul which enabled No8 Woods to touch down for a try converted by Graham Ilsley to make the score 12-18.

South Woodham remained under pressure for the rest of the game and, with time running out, they were over-taken when hooker Tim Allen touched down for a try converted by Ilsley to give Holt a one-point advantage.

The last few seconds of the game were heart-stopping for the home crowd when the visitors were awarded a penalty which their full-back pulled wide by the finest of margins.

To their great credit the supporters remained totally silent whilst the penalty was taken, notwithstanding the critical importance of this kick to both sides.

The Woodfordes man-of-the-match was wing-forward Sargent.

Holt II were beaten 71-12 by Old Greshamians in an annual friendly match.

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