EASTERN COUNTIES 1: Ipswich YM 35 Mersea Island 25

With injuries continuing to increase, YM were once again forced into fielding a much-changed side.

The side included three players coming out of retirement, while head coach Jeff Searle also had to take to the field.

The first 15 minutes saw one of the best starts of the season for the home side with attack after attack being put in and only fantastic defence from Mersea stopping the hosts from getting the first score of the match.

Mersea’s defence was finally breached on 20 minutes when Oliver Howard, playing at full back for the first time ever, chased a kick through and scored in the corner. Tom Potter hit the post with the conversion.

YM doubled their lead when winger Carlton Ford used his electric pace to split the Mersea defence and also score under the posts, Potter adding the extras.

Mersea came to life at this point and, realising many players were out of position for YM, started to put some good attacks of their own together.

In the next 10 minutes, Mersea left the YM defence for dead on two occasions and got the score back to level terms by half time.

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Even with the bad end to the half, YM were playing with much more pride than the past few weeks and came out for the second half determined to give the large home crowd a good display.

The second-half also saw 47-year-old YM winger Girling take to the field after eight years of retirement.

The half saw both sides play some great attacking and defensive rugby and with 15 minutes to go the lead had changed hands four times with Mersea leading 25–23.

The last 15 minutes saw the YM of old with every player giving 110 percent for the team and two more great scores saw them end the match winning 35-25.

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