Holt could play key role in Ipswich’s London 2 North title ambitions

Ipswich head coach Johnny Breedt

Ipswich head coach Johnny Breedt - Credit: James Ager

Could Ipswich’s London 2 North title charge still be Holt-ed?

Johnny Breedt’s leaders hold a four-point advantage over second-placed Saffron Walden, with both teams having four games left to play.

However, the league’s top-two must both travel to Holt, who have lost just twice on their home patch this season, with Ipswich visiting their Norfolk opponents a week after their Essex rivals, on April 12.

Ipswich’s game at Holt was scheduled to be their last of the regular season and could yet decide their fate, although they have still to confirm a date to play their re-arranged clash at South Woodham Ferrers, and that is likely to be staged after the regular season ends.

Ipswich, who won 80-5 at Basildon on Saturday, and Saffron Walden, who were 46-7 victors at Braintree, boast indentical records this season, having both won 16 games and lost two but crucially, the former have accrued more bonus points this term.

“We have done really well this season and been lucky enough to pick up a bonus point with every victory, and that has been key,” said Breedt, whose side lost 24-15 at Holt last season.

“We want to keep that going but, for me, the key for both teams is to keep an eye on Holt.

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“Both ourselves and Saffron Walden are down to go there and they are a tough team to beat at home. Anything can happen there and that is going to be a key game for both sides.

“I am not saying the other fixtures won’t be tough, but if you had the choice, you wouldn’t want to play there.”

Ipswich, who will be expected to pick up a comprehensive victory at Braintree on Saturday, have proved susceptible to defeat on the road this season, losing 22-0 at Saffron and 28-19 at Chelmsford but, having won their last six games – scoring an average of 46 points per match – look well set to finish top-dogs.

And that is the most important thing for the South African coach, despite the incentive of playing a level below Bury St Edmunds, who are now thriving in the National League, next season.

“It’s about us making sure we win the next four games,” said Breedt, whose side have one home game remaining, against East Anglian rivals Norwich on April 5.

“We can’t drop as far as third and second would mean a play-off to win promotion.

“For us, it’s not about promotion and the play-offs, we want to finish the season as champions.

“Promotion is more of a bonus.”

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