Ipswich YM 29 Holt 27: Late drama as leaders suffer a shock defeat

Jack Wicks shrugs off some desperate last-ditch defending to touch down for West Norfolk against Fak

Jack Wicks shrugs off some desperate last-ditch defending to touch down for West Norfolk against Fakenham Picture: PAUL BRIDGES - Credit: Archant

There was a big shock in London 3EC when leaders Holt were beaten at bottom side Ipswich YM after letting a big lead slip in the closing stages.

Holt started well, with returning Tom Jackson controlling the game from fly-half and slotting over a penalty from 30 metres to put his side ahead.

Any notion that Holt would push on and control the game quickly disappeared as Ipswich pressurised from the restart and by the 20th minute they were 14-3 ahead following a couple of converted tries.

The second half saw a rejuvenated Holt quickly bring the score back to 14-10 after Jackson and Ben Reedman combined to move their side downfield from the restart and Jeremy Seaman finished the attack with a powerful drive to the line.

Four minutes later Holt added another try from a lineout inside their opposition's 22m. After a driven maul, newly-introduced prop Rob Gray carried the ball to within sight of the tryline and captain Ashley Woods was on hand to pick and drive for the score. Although it went unconverted Holt were now 14-15 ahead and in control.

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Attacking with speed and width, Holt improved their score further when, from a scrum, Jackson fed Geoff Flather who carved through the defensive line to touch down under the posts, making James Wyatt's conversion a formality.

Seaman scored his second try and Holt's fourth 33 minutes into the second half after James Wyatt caught the Ipswich full-back in possession on his own tryline. With close support from the forwards the ball was turned over and Seaman went over, with the score now 14-27 in Holt's favour and only seven minutes of normal time left.

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Ipswich then threw caution to the wind and moved the ball wide at every opportunity and were rewarded with two tries in three minutes, one of which was converted, to bring the deficit down to a single point.

Holt seemed incapable of maintaining possession for any meaningful period and with almost no time left Ipswich's pressure resulted in a penalty 20 metres out in front of the posts which was despatched to make it 29-27, much to the delight of the home support.

Wymondham moved to within two points of leaders Holt as they pulled away in the closing stages to win 50-20 at Thetford.

The hosts were trailing by just four points early in the second but the Red and Blacks then took control to record an impresive victory.

Aussie centre Eli Greaves scored two first half tries to set the ball rolling and after the break Ben Edwards and Ollie Charlish touched down twice, with Charlie Delaney and Simon Darby also getting in on the act.

West Norfolk started 2019 in the best possible fashion with an excellent 48-17 win over visitors Fakenham.

Their tries came from club stalwart James Williamson, Sam Moses (2), Jack Wicks, Stephen Aspery - with the score of the game - and Will Greenwood, with Moses adding a couple of penalties.

Scrum-half Hayden Revell was the Adrian Flux man-of-the-match.

Murray Tindall (2) and Brett Stolworthy were the Fakenham scorers, with Ashley Stewart their man- of-the-match,

Crusaders gave third placed Ely an excellent run for their money before being edged out 40-34 at Little Melton.

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