Holt delight at win over Suffolk rivals

Holt 18, Southwold 7

RUGBY: Southwold brought to High Kelling a similar record to Holt's, and with it the ingredients for a tight game.

The early stages saw Holt on the attack and playing with confidence, giving their opponents no time to settle. Their efforts were rewarded when, after eight minutes, Allen gave them a 3-0 lead with a penalty.

Southwold's three-quarters showed flair in their running and passing. They were off target with a penalty, but made Holt work hard for possession. Holt were rewarded after 26 minutes when Daniels scored from a driving maul to increase the lead to 8-0.

A minute later, following a cross from Mears and a kindly bounce, Robson gathered possession and raced through for a try (converted Allen) for 15-0.

Holt went close again but also had to rely on good defence to keep the visitors out up to half-time.

The second half was into its second minute when Holt were awarded a penalty 30 metres out for Allen to increase the lead to 18-0.

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This was the last opportunity Holt had of putting their opponents under pressure. Southwold began to make good use of possession and following a quickly-taken penalty they scored a converted try for 18-7.

The pace of the game was maintained with both sides probing, but most of the action was in Holt's half where their defensive skills were put to the test.

Southwold twice appeared to have the line at their mercy, only for the ball to be dropped or not thrown in straight at a line-out.

Holt did not help their defence by failing to find touch from relieving penalties kicked from the hand.

However, with time running out Holt kept hold of their lead and at the final whistle breathed a sigh of relief at a well-won victory over demanding opposition.

This win is Holt's seventh in the league and keeps them in fourth place.

On Saturday, Holt are away to Old Cooperians in the Junior Vase, who play at the same level in Essex One and have a 50 per cent record.

Meanwhile, Holt 2nd XV played Norwich Seconds and lost 53-0.