Holt 54 Thetford 8: Leaders are quick to put first league defeat of season behind them

Ashley Woods carries the ball forward during Holt's comprehensive win over Thetford at Bridge Road P

Ashley Woods carries the ball forward during Holt's comprehensive win over Thetford at Bridge Road Picture: STUART YOUNG - Credit: Archant

Holt bounced straight back from their first league loss of the season by recording a comfortable win, scoring nine tries in the process.

After an early exchange of penalties between James Wyatt and Malik Lock, Bruce Van Poortvliet was the first to cross the line with an impressive blindside break from a ruck.

The home team then took control. They seized every opportunity to move the ball and three further tries followed, the first by full-back James Wyatt, the second by prop Aaron Cole and the third by wing Henry Flower.

Wyatt converted one of the three and Holt were ahead 25-3, having secured a bonus point before the interval.

At half-time the predicted rain arrived and altered the rhythm of the match. The ever-alert Van Poortvliet scored an unconverted try from a tap penalty immediately after the restart. However, Thetford then came back into the game and wing-forward Jordan Morgan, who together with scrum-half Chris Thomas had shown some excellent touches, forced his way over for a try. There followed a tight battle between two determined sides but in the final 20 minutes the home team produced their best passage of play of the season to date.

They were able to build on a clear advantage in the lineout and dominance in the rucks and had the confidence to run the ball despite the weather. In quick succession tries were scored by Ashley Woods, Van Poortvliet and Geoff Flather, with Wyatt converting the latter two. With the score at 42-8 Holt then delivered what may be their try of the season. From set play outside-half Tom Jackson produced a brilliant dummy-pass that fooled the defence before passing to Woods who had an easy stroll in under the posts. Wyatt again converted and just to underline Holt's dominance the last play of the game produced a ninth try, this time for hooker Kyle Routledge.

The final score of 54-8 was harsh on the visitors, who never gave up and defended with determination. However, by cutting out errors and moving the ball quickly, Holt deserved a win which took them five points clear of closest challengers Wymondham, who were without a game.

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Captain Ashley Woods was Holt's man-of-the-match.

Fakenham recorded another excellent win to move comfortably into mid-table in their first season in London Three Eastern Counties.

They followed up a superb 23-19 victory over previously unbeaten leaders Holt with a 27-17 success at Woodbridge to add another five points to their tally.

Fakenham scored four tries, with Ashley Stewart, Lyam Thorpe, Tom Bane-Young and Damon Howick all touching down. Their other points came from the boot of Lloyd Marshall, who recorded two conversions and also slotted over a penalty.

Fakenham are now a highly respectable sixth in the table, just three points behind fourth-placed Wisbech, who won a tight fixture at Crusaders 22-18.

There were tries galore at Gatehouse Lane where fifth-placed West Norfolk beat Thurston 53-35, while Ely stayed in touch with leaders Holt courtesy of a 46-3 win at bottom team Ipswich YM.

They are now level on 39 points with inactive Wymondham - five behind the leaders with all the teams having now played 10 times.