Saffron Walden 23, Holt 25
- Credit: Archant
Matthew Jary Ryan marked his 50th appearance for Holt with a last-gasp try to seal a dramatic London 2NE victory.
Holt, looking for a double over their hosts, played with the breeze for the first half and camped themselves in the home side's half, but spoilt a good advantage by conceding a penalty.
The home side were quick on the counter-attack, with their backs being given rather too much space by their Holt counterparts. From one such sortie Saffron Walden kicked a penalty to take the lead.
This inspired the visitors to get back into their opponents' half and they equalised through a Young penalty after 28 minutes. The home side went back onto the attack and were rewarded with a converted try after 36 minutes following some indecisive defending.
With half-time approaching Holt drove their opponents back over their goal line for Hill to score an unconverted try, reducing the deficit to 10-8 at the break.
Holt knew they would have to tighten their defence against some lively running and with this in mind started the new half by camping on Saffron Walden's goal line, only to concede a penalty. The home side took play deep into Holt's half to be rewarded with a converted try, increasing their lead to 17-8.
It was during this period of play that Holt's stand-off Iain Young received a bad injury to his shoulder, finishing his part in the game. The home side were attacking with increasing confidence and Holt's defence was not helped by a yellow card being awarded. Another penalty was conceded for the hosts to increase their lead to 20-8, giving Holt some catching up to do.
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Gradually the visitors made inroads into home half and Girling broke through to score a deserved try, reducing the deficit to 20-13 with a quarter of an hour remaining.
The home slotted over a penalty to increase their lead to 23-13 but this setback inspired Holt to again put pressure on the home side's defence and with five minutes remaining, Woods scored following a push-over scrum. With Jackson converting, the visitors were back within range at 23-20 to set the stage for another close finish, which seems to be the norm for Holt these days.
With the minutes ticking away, it was beginning to look as though they would have settle for a losing bonus point when Jarry-Ryan caught a kick ahead by Saffron Walden and proceeded to break through a tackle and hare up the touch line, outstripping the cover defence to score the match winning try, much to the delight of the large contingent of Holt supporters. Although the conversion was missed, that was the end of a game and again Holt had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Holt had also gained a bonus point, keeping them in fourth place with 12 wins out of 18 games played. On Saturday the visitors to High Kelling are Old Streetonians.