London 2NE: Chelmsford 43 Holt 17

Gareth Mears on the attack for Holt against Chelmsford. Picture: Stuart Young

Gareth Mears on the attack for Holt against Chelmsford. Picture: Stuart Young - Credit: Stuart Young

A spirited display wasn't enough as Holt slipped to an emphatic defeat at second-placed Chelmsford.

Holt chose to play down the slope for the first half, but their hosts took the game straight to them and soon kicked a penalty to take a 3-0 lead.

More attacks followed and this time the defence was breached for an unconverted try after 12 minutes. The hosts were not content with that and three minutes later added a further try, which was converted, taking the score to 15-0.

Holt were doing their level best to break the siege and were helped when a Chelmsford player was sin binned. The visitors were duly rewarded after 22 minutes when Canning scored an unconverted try, followed by Such scoring another unconverted try four minutes later to reduce the deficit. Chelmsford went back on the offensive by adding another converted try and led 22-10 at the break.

The second half began on the wrong foot as the hosts swept down the pitch to score a converted try from the kick-off, giving them a bonus point. Holt were doing their utmost to take the game to their opponents, but found themselves on the back foot again after conceding another converted try.

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There was a lull in the scoring for a while, with Holt probing away looking for a bonus point, but they were again put to the sword after 27 minutes of the half by another converted try to go 43-10 down. Despite this setback Holt swept up the slope to attack the home side's goal line for the remainder of the match and were rewarded when Loane scored at the death, with Jackson converting to make the final score more respectable.

The Owls recorded an excellent victory over their Diss counterparts by 20-19, having played the second half with 14 men, while the A XV were given a walk-over by Diss.

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