Holt face play-off showdown at Bridge Road for place in London 2NE

PUBLISHED: 17:04 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:04 11 April 2019

James Knight touches down for North Walsham during an impressive win over HAC last Saturday Picture: HYWEL JONES

James Knight touches down for North Walsham during an impressive win over HAC last Saturday Picture: HYWEL JONES

Chasing Rainbows

Holt are gearing up for a promotion play-off at Bridge Road on Saturday after finishing runners-up in London Three Eastern Counties.

They won their final match of the regular season 17-7 at Woodbridge to move above morning leaders Ely, who had already completed their programme.

But the victory wasn’t enough to finish top, with fellow contenders Wymondham winning 41-29 at West Norfolk to seal the title.

Holt now need to win a play-off to get promoted back to London 2NE, with East London the visitors tomorrow (3pm) for what should be a showdown to savour.

The West Ham based side finished second in London Three Essex after winning 17 and losing five of their fixtures, with Holt’s superior 80 per cent win ratio giving them a home draw.

Having completed their home fixtures in London 1N, North Walsham will be looking to end the league season with another win knowing their host Fullerians have more to play for than they do.

The Watford-based club are sitting in the relegation zone, five points behind Ruislip with an adverse record, so will be desperate to upset the form book and get the win. Last week they pushed Colchester close before going down 10-5.

Although both scrum-half Jake Duffield and centre James Knight played the full 80 minutes of last week’s win over HAC, Duffield was suffering from a recurrence of a hamstring problem and Knight was struggling with an ankle injury so head of rugby Johnny Marsters will be relying on the physios to get them on the pitch.

Andre Dunn and Joe Milligan have niggling injuries and wing Dan Smith is unavailable.

Diss, who have long since been condemned to relegation, have a tricky final game at home to second placed Colchester, who have only lost twice all season, to champions Rochford Hundred, and have passed 1,000 points for the season. By contrast Diss have only scored 287 points.

There is also Eastern Counties action, with Shield champions Beccles ending their season at Colchester III and Norwich Union at Cottenham Renegades. In the Plate champions North Walsham Raiders travel to Bury St Edmunds III with what is likely to be a depleted side.

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