Hadleigh take the points with ease
Chelmsford 0 Hadleigh 11THIS was the proverbial four pointer for both sides in which Hadleigh emerged as worthy victors. A gale force wind blowing across the pitch with the slope meant that the game was played down one touchline and flowing handling was at a premium.
Chelmsford 0 Hadleigh 11
THIS was the proverbial four pointer for both sides in which Hadleigh emerged as worthy victors. A gale force wind blowing across the pitch with the slope meant that the game was played down one touchline and flowing handling was at a premium.
Hadleigh had the better of the earlier exchanges and took an early lead with a penalty from No 8 Count. Although the Hadleigh pack only just maintained superiority over the opponents, the visiting back line looked far the better outfit when moving the ball.
Despite maintaining play in the Chelmsford 22 for long periods, a succession of errors consistently allowed the home side off the hook until, half an hour into the match, Stu Leadbeater won a line out 10m out from the Chelmsford line and the pack drove over for Roper to register his fifth score of the season.
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Although the conversion was missed the try put new heart into the visitors and they were unlucky not to go further ahead when Tony Skurr sprinted 50m to catch a towering kick from Forster on the full. Unfortunately as the home fullback closed for the tackle, the big Hadleigh wing was unaware of close support from Eady and the chance went begging.
The rest of the half continued in much the same vein with Chelmsford valiantly defending and Hadleigh never quite able to break them down enough to score.
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The home side did manage a couple of forays into Hadleigh territory after the Suffolk side made mistakes while in possession but rarely did the Essex outfit look like scoring.
In the second half Chelmsford decided to use the wind to keep Hadleigh pinned in their 22 and hope they could use the pressure to manufacture points. They had reckoned without the Hadleigh back three of Catton, Tuitula (?) and Skurr who consistently fielded any loose kicks and ran them back up field, often creating havoc in the Chelmsford defence.
The introduction of Dean Jones at prop with Vaughan Evans moving across to hooker bolstered the Hadleigh pack and their swarming, aggressive defence, coupled with Visser nullyfying his opposing scrum half, soon had Chelmsford at sixes and sevens.
Chelmsford had no answer to the Hadleigh defence and when Forster's penalty gave Hadleigh an 11-0 lead the belief visibly drained from the home side.
This victory gives Hadleigh valuable breathing space in the battle to stay out of the relegation zone, bringing them three points and two places clear.
Next week the focus switches to the Suffolk Cup with Hadleigh hosting Colchester in what will be a difficult encounter.