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Ipswich YM stay top with hard-fought win

PUBLISHED: 14:13 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:13 18 December 2017

Ipswich YM, left, and Hadleigh scrum down. Picture: DEBBIE TAYLOR

Ipswich YM, left, and Hadleigh scrum down. Picture: DEBBIE TAYLOR

Archant

Eastern Counties 1

Ipswich YM 20

Hadleigh 11

This top of the table clash, which confirmed Ipswich YM’s position as best in the league – at least of this first phase of the league season – rarely managed to hit any heights, writes Debbie Taylor.

Too many penalties, too many handling errors and defences that were too well-organised prevented any continuity and deprived the cold touchline crowd of any spectacle.

YM opened the scoring early, forcing a five-metre scrum, winning the ball and spinning it wide to David Powys to score on the left wing.

But that score didn’t settle the home side and Hadleigh then had the lion’s share of possession in the first half, but their own errors and the YM’s solid defence and committed tackling – a real improvement over last season and a tribute to Clive Bell’s coaching – kept them at bay, and they rarely threatened the home side’s line.

The YM’s problems were outside where once again they were forced to deploy an injury-ravaged backline, and in indiscipline – lots of penalties being conceded, two of which Hadleigh converted.

Those scores came on either side of YM’s second try; again the pack seized possession close to the Hadleigh line and recycled the ball through several phases before Adam Sawyer broke through close to the ruck.

There was a 10 minute spell of total YM dominance to open the second half, which doubled their score, the home pack, which edged the contest, taking the ball on and scoring both tries, confirming their superiority with a pushover try, to seal the win and secure the bonus point.

After that the heat rather went out of the contest, but with time running out Hadleigh secured a consolation try, Eric Munizero finishing off a sustained forward move by touching down close to the posts.

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