Boxing Day treat for rugby fans at Holt


submitted - Credit: Archant

Holt 29 President's XV 46

It was an unseasonably mild if a little breezy Bridge Road that welcomed one of the largest crowds ever seen for a Holt President's fixture.

Around 750 witnessed what could only be described as a right Christmas cracker of a game, 13 tries leaving the scoring rate at just under a point a minute.

Welcoming several players home for Christmas, Holt were able to rest a number of regulars ahead of their Woodforde's Norfolk Cup game against Diss next weekend, but it was still a strong side.

President Paul Williams had amassed a formidable team from around the region and so the scene was set.

Holt hit the ground running, on the board after six minutes, with Michael Humberstone scoring the first of his three tries. Three minutes later two former Holt players now at Shelford, Josh Simmons and Tom Jackson, teamed up to put Jackson in for a scorcher of a try.

Four minutes later all three Riley brothers, Hal, Edward and James, created a sublime move that left Humberstone half a chance to score, which he took with some aplomb.

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Jackson then replied for the President's team, levelling the scores again to make it 20 points on the board after just 15 minutes.

The crowd had to wait eight minutes for the next score as the superior power of the President's side was beginning to take its toll and Harry Agnew smashed his way through to score under the posts.

Then, as the half came to a close, the President's team created a four on two overlap that allowed Simmons to squeeze over in the corner.

The second half looked ominous for Holt as the President's team extended their lead with two tries. Agnew rampaged through the middle before passing to Paul Coomber, who scored out wide.

Then Steve Hipwell (Cambridge) used his considerable size to plough his way through and sprint clear to score, leaving Holt trailing by 24 points, a deficit they would never bridge but not for the want of trying.

The next three scores went to Holt. First Humberstone completed his hat-trick with arguably the best try of the day. With Holt on the attack Bruce van Poorvliet spotted Humberstone and sent a pass out wide.

It was slightly wayward, leaving the winger one option, to dive and scoop up the pass inches from the line to touch down with several defenders in pursuit. Holt's next two scores came from Woodforde's Brewery man of the match James Riley as he scythed through the opposition defence like a hot knife through butter.

Having got within striking distance a tiring Holt side conceded two late tries. Chris Beaird produced a great sidestep followed by a great turn of speed to outstrip the defence to score.

Hipwell then created a score out of nothing, sucking in several defenders before releasing Rhys Davies-Horne to round off a great game.

n Holt are in action again on Saturday when they play host to Diss in the semi-finals of the Woodfordes Norfolk Senior Cup (1.30pm).

North Walsham were due to have played Norwich in the other semi-final but their hosts were unable to raise a side and the tie was called off.

The match has now been provisionally re-arranged for Saturday, April 30, which is the week prior to th