Tough encounter for Holt rugby team

Ely 16, Holt 9

RUGBY: Holt re-commenced their league programme with a visit to Ely.

They had a hard game on their hands as Ely had already won the first encounter at Holt in October. Holt played against the wind from the start and it was the home side who made the early running and were rewarded with a penalty after five minutes, which was converted to give them a 3-0 lead.

Holt were doing their best to make inroads into the Ely half, but were met with some stiff resistance when after ten minutes Ely kicked another penalty, to extend the lead to 6-0.

After 31 minutes Allen reduced the deficit to 6-3 with a penalty. Holt were hoping to keep the score line at the same up to half-time when a five metre scrum was inadvertently given away, there had been time to have cleared the ball without touching it down.

Ely accepted this gift by winning the scrum for their inside centre to brush through Holt's defence to score a converted try, giving his side a 13-3 lead with three minutes of the half remaining. Holt began the second half knowing they had a lot of hard graft to do.

This was shown as they maintained the pressure on Holt for the early stages of the half, but were kept at bay by some resolute defence. Holt were rewarded with another penalty for Allen to convert, reducing the margin to 13-6 after thirteen minutes.

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Holt still could not gain domination against determined opponents by kicking away too much possession and having to cope with a lively scrum-half.

Then with ten minutes remaining, Holt did not help themselves when a player was yellow carded for the rest of the game, giving Ely a one-man advantage. Fortunately no ties came from this, but they did kick another penalty after thirty-three minutes to virtually make the game safe at 16-6.

Allen was again on target to kick another penalty making the score 16-9 to the home side with still five minutes to go. It was then that Holt produced some determined rugby, but were unable to narrow the deficit and at the final whistle had to accept defeat.

Holt, did gain a losing bonus point and maintain their position of fourth in the league.

Next Saturday, Holt are at home to Haverhill and District in another return league fixture and will be looking to achieve the double over them, as they had won 6-3 there in a somewhat scrappy encounter.