Eastern Counties 2 - Woodbridge 22 Ipswich YM 23

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WOODBRIDGE opened the scoring in this thrilling derby, notching up three penalties in the first five minutes and allowing YM Ipswich No.8, Elliston, to kick three points.

YM, five places higher in the league, were better practised at line-out and pushed their hosts back in the scrums, from which Elliston picked and charged repeatedly.

Undeterred, Warriors’ Garnham and Bruce kept Woodbridge in the game with some wide runs, while accurate kicking from Hand yielded a couple of missed penalty opportunities.

Ipswich full-back, Kenny, caused Woodbridge all sorts of bother, backing up his wingers and testing the Woodbridge defence, but Bruce’s long kicks to clear got them back into the YM 22 for Yorke to drive over and score.

With the game getting tense the referee was kept busy.

Both sides kicked at each other and responded well in equal measure, gathering and passing with good hands.

Woodbridge’s forwards all worked hard to counter the larger and more cohesive Ipswich pack.

Towards the end of the half, Ipswich’s Kenny made another darting run and Rudland scored from the ensuing five-metre ruck.

Yellow cards on both sides meant that Bruce was able to break from YM’s ten-metre line and exploit their missing full-back to score, converted by Smith.

A poor restart from the Warriors put them immediately under pressure and called for Bruce to clear again.

The sin-bins re-joined only for more handbags and it was back to 14-a-side before Woodb, whidge were carded again allowing Elliston to take another three penalty points.

Ipswich, accustomed to turning the scrum, were then penalised for an infringement in the process which allowed Barton to take the three points back.

With Bruce sent to the bin for not retreating, the Warriors were down to 12 men requiring Lloyd and Smith to clear from their own 22 until, back to full strength, they attacked on the right – Millbank scoring a converted try.

With seven minutes to go, at 22-11 down, YM changed gear and Elliston ran from the back of the scrum, his forwards pumping wave after wave against a whistle-hungry Woodbridge defence until Quinton scored and Elliston converted.

Four points in it, a nail-biting two minutes and YM were back on the Warriors’ five-metre line.

In the last play, Ipswich scored five points to win a dramatic encounters by the narrowest of margins.

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