Holt RFC suffer surprise 34-27 defeat at Braintree RFC

Holt keep the scoreboard ticking over at Braintree. Picture: Stuart Young.

Holt keep the scoreboard ticking over at Braintree. Picture: Stuart Young. - Credit: Archant

Holt had to content themselves with a losing bonus point on Saturday as lowly Braintree hit back from a run of six straight defeats to record a deserved victory,

The visitors, with two straight wins behind them, started with the breeze behind them, but Braintree gained early possession and cut through Holt's defence like a knife through butter to score under the posts after two minutes and, with the conversion a formality, took a 7-0 lead.

Holt fired themselves up after this reverse and drove into Braintree's half and were awarded a penalty after 11 minutes, which Harvey converted. But with some lively running by their backs the hosts extended their lead with a penalty of their own.

Holt were not helping themselves with some sloppy passing amongst their backs, but their forwards were proving more than a match for their counterparts. However Jarry-Ryan made a good break and the move was carried on by Leaper-Riley and finished off by Jarry-Ryan with a well taken try. Harvey's conversion brought the scores level

Braintree again came back at Holt and scored another converted try to 17-10 lead after 23 minutes.

Harvey's penalty quickly reduced the arrears again and with Braintree reduced to 14 men Holt broke out and following a scrum, Jackson cross-kicked for Jarry-Ryan to follow up and beat the defence to the touch down. Harvey was again on target with the conversion, giving his side the lead for the first time on the stroke of half-time by 17-20.

The game at this stage looked like being a nail-biter right to the finish, with Holt having a definite edge in the forwards while Braintree's backs were proving to be more than a handful.

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Braintree regained the lead with an unconverted try before Holt's forwards yet again showed their domination with some excellent driving mauls. It was following one of these that Hill scored a deserved try, for Harvey to convert, putting Holt back in the lead at 22-27

. Holt were going to have their work cut out to keep this slender lead and Braintree were rewarded for their efforts with another try and with the conversion being successful, re-took the lead at 29-27 with 10 minutes remaining.

Two minutes later Holt conceded another try from a scrum they had won, but possession was stolen by the Braintree flanker, who wove his way through the defence to score an unconverted try to make it 34-27.

Holt made desperate efforts to save the match, but their efforts came to nothing and it was the home side who finished the game on the ascendancy, missing an excellent chance to extend their lead when they dropped the ball at a key moment.

what might have been. Their only consolation was a losing bonus point, whilst Braintree earned one by scoring five tries against Holt's three.This reverse puts Holt down one place in the league to seventh, with four wins out of nine. Next Saturday, Holt entertain local rivals Norwich in a double header, being the league match combined with the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup as both sides had been drawn against each other in that competition.

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