Ilsley stars as Holt come through competitive Senior Cup clash with West Norfolk

Will Knights looking to offload in the tackle for Holt whilst being tackled by West's Alex Singleton

Will Knights looking to offload in the tackle for Holt whilst being tackled by West's Alex Singleton. Picture: Stuart Young - Credit: Archant

A keenly contested Norfolk Cup game was won by Holt due to their ability to make better use of their chances, coupled with another 100pc kicking performance by Graham Ilsley who converted two penalties and three tries.

Holt started strongly, putting pressure on the West Norfolk defence and were rewarded with two penalties which they converted to make the score 6-0 within 10 minutes.

West Norfolk gradually began to win more possession and good team-work resulted in a try by Alex Singleton converted by Monty Maule who, shortly afterwards, missed a close-range penalty.

Holt's captain and scrum-half, Bruce van Poortvliet, led by example, testing the West Norfolk defence at every opportunity.

Following a sniping break he put away Rob Gray who was on his shoulder to support and touch down for a further try, converted by Ilsley.


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Holt finished off the first half with a well-controlled driving maul which enabled van Poortvliet to make a break which was followed up by No8 Soul Phoenix to touch down and the conversion by Ilsley made the score 20-7 at half-time.

West Norfolk came back strongly in the second half, with their forwards producing good possession which allowed their three-quarters to test the Holt defence. While defending their line Ilsley put through an intelligent grubber kick which was followed up by fly-half Simmons who ran the length of the pitch to score a further try, converted by Ilsley.

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West Norfolk did themselves no favours with three yellow cards and although they had some good opportunities in the second half they only managed one try when Ross Biggs completed a well-executed three-quarter move for a score converted by Maule, after which Holt held on to leave the final score at 27-14.

Holt's Woodfordes man-of-the-match was Ilsley and the Holt selectors will have been impressed with the performance of 17-year-old Harrison Chapman who came of the bench to make his debut for the first team.

The London Three North-East hosts made Holt, who play one tier higher up the pyramid, work hard to progress and will now turn their attention back to the league, where they are currently on an excellent run of form.

Holt II beat UEA 20-17 in the Norfolk Plate while the third team lost 49-0 to a Fakenham XV in a friendly match.

• North Norfolk rivals North Walsham and Holt will meet in the semi-finals of the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup.

The pair will face off at Scottow in the new year following yesterday's draw, with Norwich playing host to Diss in the other match.

In the Junior Cup, Crusaders will entertain Dereham while Broadland-Great Yarmouth will play host to Fakenham.

In the Junior Plate the two semi-finals are Beccles II v Diss II and Holt II v Wymondham II.

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