Club holds minute's silence

Holt 29, Thurston 17Thurston were the visitors to High Kelling for the first encounter between them and their hosts. Normally the results between the clubs favour the home side and Holt would be looking maintain this record.

Holt 29, Thurston 17

Thurston were the visitors to High Kelling for the first encounter between them and their hosts. Normally the results between the clubs favour the home side and Holt would be looking maintain this record. Before the kick-off, a minute's silence was observed to the memory of Bill Cubitt, a founder member of Holt Rugby Football Club and the first captain in 1961, who had passed away last Thursday. Therefore the incentive was there for Holt to win for Bill.

The weather was dry and with little wind and conditions under foot were firm. Thurston made the early running, but Holt weathered the storm and broke out of defence and following good work by Child, the ball reached the hands of Burn who finished off the move to score an unconverted try to give Holt a 5-0 leads after six minutes.

Holt were immediately back onto the attack from the re-start and Burn receiving the ball, cut through the opposition defence to score under the posts for Allen to convert giving the home side a 12-0 lead. This was after only eight minutes and Holt had their tails up, but then let Thurston back into the game by losing the initiative by giving away a penalty.

This took Thurston back into Holt's 22 and following a line-out, the visitor's prop was on hand to power over for an unconverted try to make the score line 12-5 after 12 minutes. Holt again took the game to their opponents and were off target with a penalty after 20 minutes and then had a fright when the Thurston outside centre ran from his own 22 and found himself in plenty of space and a try looked distinctly probable, but fortunately for the home side, the player took a wrong option and the threat was nullified.

Holt again camped in their visitor's half and after 25 minutes, captain Van Poortvliet finished off a move to score an unconverted try to extend the lead to 17-5. The pressure was still maintained and eight minutes later Burn completed his hat-trick and with Allen converting, the score now stood at 24-5. Holt were unable to extend the lead any further by half-time, but the way they had dominated the half, must have felt they could add to their points tally in the second half.

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Thurston bestirred themselves as the second half progressed and Holt appeared to become unsettled and were unable to make the headway of the previous half and the game became rather scrappy. Holt then did not help their cause by having two players sent to the sin bin in two separate incidents and although one of the opposition was also sin binned, the home side were a man short for a quarter of an hour.

Thurston were now applying the pressure on their hosts and it was of no surprise when the same prop forward scored another try, which was converted, to narrow the gap to 24-12.

Six minutes later the same centre who had caused Holt a fright in the first half, collected the ball in his own half to run three-quarters of the length of the pitch through little or no defence to score a try. Fortunately for Holt the conversion rebounded off the upright, which still left their opponents a goal behind at 24-17.

The visitors were sensing the game could be saved and then threw away possession through an attempted drop goal which took the pressure off Holt. In the last minutes of the game, which was now being played in very poor light, the home side finally got their act together and following concerted pressure on Thurston's goal line scored a try through Jones in the last move of the game. Giving them victory by 29-17, but at one stage in the second half things were looking decidedly shaky against a side, who on their own ground will be difficult to beat when Holt play them early in the New Year.

This win puts Holt into fourth place in the league, having gone up two places and have now won four games out of seven played. Next Saturday Holt entertain Old Brentwoods at High Kelling in the fourth round of the EDF Junior Vase, their opponents play in Essex One, which is the same level as Eastern Counties One and they have an inferior record to that of their hosts.. This will mean nothing, as cup matches can spring a few surprises, but if Holt can maintain the pressure they showed in the first half against Thurston and tighten up on their defence at the back, progress to the next round should be a probability.