Rugby: Norwich 26, Holt 7

Norwich booked a Sunday, March 11 home final against Crusaders in the Woodfordes Norfolk Cup after seeing off Holt in a keenly contested semi at Beeston Hyrne.

Norwich booked a Sunday, March 11 home final against Crusaders in the Woodfordes Norfolk Cup after seeing off Holt in a keenly contested semi at Beeston Hyrne.

The whole match was played in rain, making conditions difficult, especially with ball handling.

From the start Holt were awarded an immediate kickable penalty, but Jones was off target. The visitors maintained the pressure on Norwich but were not able to make any headway, although they gave a good account of themselves in the conditions and certainly did not look like a team three leagues below their hosts.

Holt cleverly used Goodley's boot to try to create a score. The outside half put up a series of high kicks, some aimed for his wingers and some for his centres to follow up, but O'Brien, at full-back, coped brilliantly and the Norwich defence held firm.


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The excessive number of breakdowns caused more than the usual share of rucks and mauls that in turn led to an unusual number of penalties but no points were scored by either side during the early stages.

After 25 minutes Norwich were awarded a penalty 15 metres out, which they took as a quick tap and Aidy Ball scored close to the posts for O'Brien to convert for a 7-0 lead.

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Norwich lost scrum-half Masdin with an injured shoulder and this allowed young Jack Marczewski to taste senior rugby for the first time. Leake was carded two minutes before half-time but Holt were unable to capitalise on their numerical superiority.

Leake returned after eight minutes of the second half and re-established his line-out domination. From quick second phase possession Cocker broke down the blind side and fed Leake to score. Norwich now led 12-0 and looked more in control.

The home pack was now rolling the mauls to good effect and this paid off as Neil Harris scored half way out. Mark Hill added the conversion to extend the lead to 19-0.

Holt lost Bailey to the bin and after 30 minutes Leake scored his second try from close range which Hill converted from wide out.

Holt were not to be out done and mounted a series of attacks that were helped along by Bailey's return and by Norwich failing to find touch with their relieving kicks.

The visitors put the Norwich line under siege for the final minutes of the game. They were rewarded as time was running out with a penalty try as their opponents had transgressed by illegally stopping a try scoring opportunity.

Jones was on target with the conversion and Holt, by the final whistle had reduced the margin to 26-7, leaving the field with their heads held high.

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