Last-gasp try snatches victory away
RUGBY ROUND-UP: Injury-hit Ipswich were denied a place in the fifth round of the Intermediate Cup by an Eastbourne try in the final minute.
Eastbourne 14 Ipswich 8
Injury-hit Ipswich were denied a place in the fifth round of the Intermediate Cup by an
Eastbourne try in the final minute of the game.
Missing 16 players at the start of the week, Ipswich's problems deepened when they lost three more – including two thirds of their scheduled front row.
Eastbourne's scrummaging was good but despite spurning a possible 14 points from kicks, Ipswich led 8-7 going into the final minute thanks to Jeff Searle's try.
So it was hard on the depleted Suffolk side when their hosts broke away to score a match-winning try.
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Felixstowe 14 Harwich 0
NON-LEAGUE Felixstowe won through to the Suffolk Plate semi-finals with a good team performance.
The weather made sure this game was never going to be a classic, but both teams played with 100 per cent commitment.
Felixstowe had two early opportunities but Olberholze missed both penalties from difficult positions. Both teams were guilty of making mistakes in the opening period leading to a stop-start game.
Felixstowe were having the majority of the play but it took until the 30th minute for Olberholze to kick their first points of the game.
This seemed to spur Felixstowe on and after another good passage of play, Felixstowe centre Paul Fuller scored under pressure from two Harwich tacklers.
Felixstowe were now well on top and just before half-time Olberholze added another penalty to give Felixstowe an 11-0 lead.
Harwich started the second-half strongly and put pressure on the Felixstowe defence, but as was to be the case for the rest of the game, Harwich were their own worst enemies. Two or three times they found themselves in the Felixstowe 22 with an overlap, only to try one pass to many, or go the wrong way.
Felixstowe were finding it hard going to get into Harwich, but after 61 minutes Olberholze added another penalty to increase the lead.
The half ended as it had begun with Harwich in the Felixstowe half but they were unable to score.
Felixstowe just had the edge up-front during the game and made some big tackles including the backs, which laid the platform for this victory and they will now face the winners of Southwold v Haverhill & District in the semi-finals on January 19, 2002.
Woodbridge 19 Colchester 27
Colchester won their first Suffolk Cup game for five seasons with a fine victory at Woodbridge, who play two divisions higher.
Colchester took the lead in the third minute when fly-half Vinny Geaves kicked ahead, Jez Castle grounding the ball over the line when the Woodbridge defence could not gather.
The Colchester pack had their sternest test to date with the Woodbridge forwards having the upper hand in the scrum, but they still managed good ball for the backs who caused problems for Woodbridge all afternoon.
Woodbridge took the lead with a searing run from number eight Tony Owens, who cut through the defence to score under the posts, John Cummings adding the extra two points.
Colchester came back with a Howson penalty to regain the lead at 8-7.
Referee Mark Johnson was standing no nonsense from the players and sin-binned Colchester prop Tim Grimsey, and then Woodbridge scrum-half Ed Johnson for stamping.
Just before half-time Owens and Colchester prop Joe Brewster got involved in a scrap and two more yellow cards were expected, but surprisingly the referee decided on two red cards and they left the field.
In the second half a missed penalty kick to touch from Cummings was run back by wing Alex Glister, and superb handling from forwards and backs ended with centre Jon Ward scoring in the left corner.
Two minutes later Colchester swept upfield again, full-back Howson taking a return pass from Glister to score under the posts to open up a 20-7 lead.
This knocked the stuffing out of Woodbridge, who were beginning to look ragged, but they kept tackling to prevent Colchester from extending their lead.
Then, with ten minutes to go, Woodbridge got their second wind and quick ruck ball created an overlap for Johnson to go over in the corner, Cummings converting well to narrow the gap to six points.
Woodbridge sensed that they could still snatch a win, but they were thwarted by excellent defending, Matt Adamson in particular working hard to win a couple of vital turnovers.
Jay Duder stole a Woodbridge line-out, allowing replacement fly-half Rust to release the backs again. A quick ruck saw Castle take the ball at full pace, and a good pass to captain James Merry left him with two defenders to beat for the decisive score with four minutes left on the clock.
Woodbridge managed a consolation try from Jennings in the dying seconds, but Colchester deserved their win in what the players agreed was their toughest game of the season so far.
Brightlingsea 3 Stowmarket 9
Stowmarket progressed to the second round of the Suffolk Plate with a hard-fought victory at a windswept Brightlingsea on Sunday.
Handling errors cost Stowmarket the chance of opening the scoring and the hosts found their feet and on the stroke of half time went ahead with a successful long-range penalty, somewhat against the run of play.
Stowmarket levelled the scores early in the second period with a close-range penalty from full-back Gary Dade, awarded for offside.
This spurred Stowmarket into life and they went on to win the tie with two further successful strikes from Dade.
Results and fixtures
Chadacre Cup quarter-finals: Bury St Edmunds 3 Hadleigh 24, Woodbridge 19 Colchester 27, Ipswich v Mersea Island and Sudbury v Ipswich YM, postponed to January 6.
Semi-finals (to be played on Sunday, January 20): Hadleigh v Colchester, Ipswich or Mersea Island v Sudbury or Ipswich YM.
Plate quarter-finals: Felixstowe 14 Harwich & Dovercourt 0, Southwold received a walk-over from Haverhill & District, University of Essex 7 Thurston 21, Brightlingsea 3 Stowmarket 9.
Semi-finals (to be played on Sunday, January 20): Felixstowe v Southwold, Thurston v Stowmarket.
Rochford Vets 45 Colchester A 15
Colchester Cavaliers 63 Rochford III 14
Canvey Island IV 36 Colchester Roundheads 0
London Scottish Colts 22 Colchester Colts 10
London Scottish U17s 27 Colchester U17s 0
North Walsham U15s 5 Colchester U15s 32
Beccles U14s 0 Colchester U14s 34
Chelmsford U14/U13s 15 Colchester U14B 39