Sevenoaks sent packing
RUGBY UNION: A round-up of all the local rugby union action including a dramatic win for Ipswich in their annual friendly with Sevenoaks.
Ipswich 40 Sevenoaks 37
IPSWICH recovered from a bad start to edge home in this annual friendly against the side from Kent.
Sevenoaks got off to a flying start, dominating the first 30 minutes by mixing the power play of the forwards with the flare of the lively back line.
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With the forwards providing ball on the front foot, the backs quite simply cut Ipswich apart, scoring three tries in quick succession.
At this stage Ipswich just dug in and tackled anything that moved, but they could not break the hold the Oaks had on the game.
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It was ironic that the first time the black and golds did manage to string some play together, Sevenoaks' centre intercepted Coker's pass to stretch the lead to 25-0 and the game looked out of sight.
However it seemed to signal a turning point in the match as Ipswich got the bit between their teeth and started to win ruck after ruck.
Shurety, back in the fold after a long lay-off, drove his forwards on and some good interplay between forwards and backs released the ball for debutant Gutheridge to break through two tackles to break clear and feed Johnson for an excellent response.
The teams turned around at 10-25, but Ipswich maintained their control of the ball and exerted pressure on the away team's line.
Centre Lintott broke through the middle, Reeve picked up and drove infield and slipped the ball to Hall, who in turn passed to Harding who sprinted over to close the gap, 15-25.
Sevenoaks hit back in an emphatic manner. with their big centre driving over close to the posts.
With the score now at 10-32 Ipswich could have folded, but instead the team lifted themselves and started to produce the best 30 minutes of rugby they have seen at Humber Doucy for some time.
The forwards were relentless and swarmed about the park in search of their quarry, and the back line started to find gaps. Harding constantly broke through a rapidly tiring Oaks defence.
From a five metre line-out, Ipswich drove for the line from the resulting ruck; Hall fed Johnson who crashed over to make it 22-32.
Coker soon after brought Ipswich to within a score when presented with a penalty 20 metres out, 25-32.
Sevenoaks were getting desperate and started to kill the ball at the rucks. In quick succession, two forwards found themselves in the sin bin and with 13 players left on the pitch, it did not take Ipswich long to haul Sevenoaks in.
Van Heerden fed Johnson who dived in at the corner, the try was unconverted but Ipswich were on a roll. Another penalty soon after presented Coker with a chance to push Ipswich into the lead for the first time and he coolly struck the ball over, 33-32.
It was Hall who rounded off a good afternoon for both himself and the team, when Long slipped the ball blindside to him on the burst from a scrum 15 metres out and Hall cruised over for a deserved try.
Sevenoaks were not ready to call it a day just yet and some sloppy defending allowed them an easy retort in the dying seconds.
Ipswich will be pleased with the afternoon's efforts. They used a number of new players and will have been impressed with the form of young Andy Hammer on the open side, as well as Fred Gutheridge in the centre and Garbett, a blindside from the west country, who looked to add a bit more bite to the Ipswich pack.
Selection for next week's game against Bank of England will be interesting.
Newmarket 19 Ipswich YM 34
IPSWICH YM used their experience well to move through to the second round of the Powergen Junior Cup.
Newmarket, blooding more youngsters as they continue to rebuild, were unable to match the visitors' power, particularly out wide.
Scrum-half Nigel Hutchinson scored a good try for the home team, and full-back Raymond Richardson kicked their remaining points with four penalties and the conversion.
Skipper Peter Marsh was pleased with the performances of the younger players such as Stephen Green, Sam Armitage, Tom Ellwood, Owen Wilson, Ben Boss and Paul Grimes, who have all progressed through the club's successful youth section.
Marsh praised training under the triumvirate of coaches Neil Richardson, Brian Carter and Chris McKeown.
Cantabrigian 10 Stowmarket 15
STOWMARKET, as last season, made hard work of it before winning at Cantabs.
The late exit of influential scrum-half Pearmain due to food poisoning led to a re-shuffle, with Beaton stepping in to the gap.
The Stowmarket forwards dominated the scrum and line-outs and after 20 hard minutes they won a scrum against the head and No. 8 Crowe picked up and ran in from 25 yards to touch down under the posts. Lawson converted and then later increased the lead with a mid-range penalty.
Cantabs replied with a line-out and drive for a try to make it 10-5 at half-time.
Stern words from coach Liebenberg at the break and early changes in the second half started to settle the visitors. Smith and Norfolk, who added more power and support to the pack, replaced Taylor and Thomas.
A drive into the Cantabs' 22 left Beaton with a break and a score in the corner. Stowmarket sat back and slow realignment and bad communication let the Cantabs' winger score but the visitors held out.
Stowmarket Stags beat Diss III at Chilton Fields.
Hadleigh 35 Holt 5
HADLEIGH made heavy work of beating a Holt side who raised their game seeking to pull off a cup upset.
Holt used their experience and determination to baulk Hadleigh at every opportunity, but that was not enough to prevent a committed Hadleigh outfit from running in six tries for a comfortable win.
Summer signing Jamie Maunder, returning from injury, opened the scoring with the first of his brace for the afternoon. Given the ball with no space and a defender bearing down, he slipped through the narrowest of gaps, then scorched over the line.
Carson added a penalty and Leonard a try to give the home side a comfortable lead.
For the next 20 minutes Holt slowed the ball at breakdowns and Hadleigh's backs spurned several overlap chances until, in the last seconds of the half, Roper took his chance to pounce on a loose ball in the Holt dead ball area to make it 18-0.
Early in the second half the visitors gave themselves some hope with a try against the run of play but after this it was all Hadleigh as the hosts posted three unanswered scores, those of Maunder and Berriman being the pick of the bunch.
AN early exchange of penalties was followed by a long spell of pressure from Woodbridge who took full advantage with two tries to take a 13-3 lead over Hadleigh II.
Shortly before half time Fijian flyer Joe Naicobo outpaced three defenders to score in the corner and bring Hadleigh back into the game.
The revival continued with tries from back-rower Junior Piselli and Ian Fraser, the latter converted by Gerrie Namadila to give the home side a narrow seven-point lead.
Woodbridge drove over from a five-metre scrum for a try but the conversion, which would have tied the scores, failed.