Holt lose grip on rugby cup

Fakenham 21, Holt 17HOLT made a short trip for the annual Banham Cup match which heralds the end of the season.Holt must have had hopes of the adding to their three wins against their opponents already this season.

Fakenham 21, Holt 17

HOLT made a short trip for the annual Banham Cup match which heralds the end of the season.

Holt must have had hopes of the adding to their three wins against their opponents already this season. And the fact they had held the cup for the past four years must have added to their expectations.

The day was perfect for rugby. Holt had the better of the early exchanges and after two minutes went ahead when Allen kicked a penalty.

But the lead was short-lived because after five minutes Fakenham were level with a long-range penalty for 3-3.

Holt then had most of the possession for the next quarter of the half, but again were unable to get the necessary points and were unable to regain the lead after 28 minutes with a missed penalty chance.

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Fakenham were awarded a penalty after 30 minutes which was kicked to give them a 6-3 lead. Holt had a let-off two minutes later when another penalty was off target.

Holt, through Bruce Van Poortvliet with two individual breaks, were still giving the Fakenham defence a problem, but on both occasions the finishing was not there. Half-time arrived with no further scoring and with Holt wondering where it had all gone awry.

Fakenham dictated events for the first quarter of the second half, but the Holt defence held firm and eventually broke the stranglehold.

From a line-out close to the Fakenham goal line Holt executed one of their lethal driving mauls, which resulted in Jake Van Poortvliet making the touchdown and with Allen on target with the conversion put his side 10-6 ahead with 20 minutes remaining.

The lead was held for eight minutes and then Holt pressed the self-destruct button for the next four minutes to give Fakenham two tries.

The first one came from a mix-up between two Holt players through neither of them calling for the ball from a kick ahead. They collided with each another and the ball was picked by a Fakenham player who ran in to score a converted try to put them back in the lead by 13-10.

Four minutes later a cross-kick by Holt to the right wing went horribly wrong, the ball being caught by the opposition who made the most of this gift. Although the try was not converted, the lead had been increased to 18-10.

After 32 minutes Gill scored a try following a maul which Allen again converted to reduce the deficit to one point at 18-17.

However hard Holt tried they could not make the necessary break through and with four minutes left were penalised and with frustration creeping in, the decision was unwisely queried. The kick was then advanced 10 metres for the Fakenham stand-off to make no mistake with the kick to put his side 21-17 ahead.

An unfortunate end to the season. But with more discipline, less giving away of penalties and certainly the querying of them, this result and one or two others could have gone Holt's way.

Holt are entering a sevens team in the North Walsham tournament on Sunday, giving them a chance to compete with some strong sides.

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