Leaders Chelmsford prove too strong to complete double over Holt

Action from Holt's home defeat to Chelmsford, Woodforde’s Brewery man of the match Sam Wright. Pictu

Action from Holt's home defeat to Chelmsford, Woodforde’s Brewery man of the match Sam Wright. Picture: Stuart Young - Credit: Stuart Young

Promotion hopefuls Chelmsford provided a stern test for the home side who were looking for an elusive win after consecutive defeats.

The first meeting between the sides was a 43-17 win for the visitors on their ground, so the scene was set for Holt to avenge this setback.

Holt were let off by handling errors early on and a penalty miss, all in the first seven minutes. They eventually broke out of their half thanks to a break by Leaper-Riley, which led to a penalty, which Dan Ilsley converted for a 3-0 lead after 12 minutes.

The setback ignited the Essex side onto the attack and they were rewarded with an unconverted try after 15 minutes to give them a 5-3 lead. The visitors maintained the pressure on Holt, making full use of the width of the pitch, and it was no surprise when another unconverted try extended the lead to 12-3 four minutes later.

The home side were still determined to attack at every opportunity and unfortunately had a penalty miss after 21 minutes.

The visitors were showing a hunger for tries and a converted try put the score up to 17-3 in their favour with 10 minutes of the half remaining. Three minutes later, following a kick through, the ball was not grounded properly by Holt and Chelmsford were quick to touch the loose ball down for their fourth try, which was unconverted, giving them a bonus point.

Holt then conceded a penalty just short of half-time and a yellow card, reducing them to 14 men for the first minutes of the second half. The penalty was not converted and half-time came with the score standing at 22-3 to the visitors.

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Holt began the second half in a positive frame of mind, attacking Chelmsford's line but unable to make a breakthrough. After six minutes Chelmsford seized on a loose pass and raced up the field to score a converted try, extending their lead to 29-3.

Holt then had another penalty chance which was not converted and it was the visitors who again scored another unconverted try after 13 minutes, giving them a comfortable lead of 34-3 with plenty of time left.

However, Holt upped their game and spent time in Chelmsford's half and also missed another penalty chance, but then so did Chelmsford. The last stages of the game were played with Holt battering at the visitors' line, but were kept out by resolute defence.

Chelmsford then had a player yellow carded and from the ensuing penalty, the ball was passed out for Dan Ilsley to score an unconverted try with five minutes remaining, but the deficit had been reduced to 8-34.

Holt were unable to add to the scoreline in the remaining time, but their forwards had shown what they are capable of, but the team had been up against a very competent side, who showed why they are where they are in the league.

The Woodforde's man of the match was Sam Wright.

Holt's two other sides lost their games at Diss by 19-38 and 17-38 respectively.

• Norwich were left without a game after Braintree were forced to drop out of the league, allowing the second XV to take centre stage at Beeston Hyrne.

A 60-10 victory over struggling Watton provided the Eastern Counties 2N entertainment.

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