Solid scrummage is base for Ipswich win

RUGBY UNION: Full coverage of the local rugby union action with all the results from the latest round of fixtures.


Woodford 13 Ipswich 20

IPSWICH were in top form in London League Division Two North action to record a tremendous win at Woodford, a ground that had yielded very little in the past for the Suffolk club.

The foundation of the victory was built on a dominant scrummage, where Clark and Garbett were outstanding.

They provided a solid platform and totally demolished the Woodford scrum in the second half, allowing scrum-half Hall to call the shots when it really mattered.

The game was played in atrocious conditions, with the steady stream of rain making handling difficult.

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Frequent mistakes meant neither side could control the game, with Woodford taking the lead from a line-out five metres out. A good catch saw the ball slipped to hooker Hodgetts, who was driven over.

Ipswich responded and when Coker broke through in midfield, he looked to have the line at his mercy. Inexplicably he tried to pass to Hughes at his shoulder and the pass was intercepted. However, Woodford were penalised for offside, and Coker made amends by slotting the penalty.

With good quality ball coming from the pack Coker moved the ball to Hughes, who stood up in the tackle to allow the forwards to launch another assault. Price drove for the line, stretched out and scored. Coker's conversion clipped an upright but Ipswich had an 8-5 lead.

On a counter-attack Woodford opened a gap for wing Jolly to touch down for a fine try.

Then ill discipline at a ruck gave Woodford fly-half Levis a penalty that he slotted to put his team ahead 13-8 at half-time.

From a scrum Primmer picked up, drove into the scrum-half and drove across the line. Coker missed the conversion, but with the scores were now level.

Flankers Bolton and Skipper were at the heart of everything, and started to find gaps. Price went on a storming drive, Hall found Coker on the charge and he broke through the midfield.

This time he did not look for Hughes or anyone else – he simply accelerated to the line.

He converted his own try, and all Ipswich had to do was endure a tense last five minutes as they ran the clock down, and celebrated a well deserved away win.

Ipswich YM 8 Wisbech 3

IPSWICH YM remain the only undefeated team in Eastern Counties Division Two after claiming their sixth win against Wisbech at Rushmere.

For the previous two seasons the Cambridgeshire side had declined to make the trip.

YM have a long injury list and six regulars were out, so coach Noel Holloway was delighted by the performances of second-team regulars Paul Marsden and Ryan Quinton.

The war of attrition was won up front by the hosts, who starved and suffocated the visitors of ball. The strong YM pack, led by skipper Andy Farmer, battled away as each side traded a penalty before lock Chris Conners sealed the victory with a try in the corner.

YM picked up further injuries as Clive Day (knee) and Jamie Clarkson (dislocated shoulder) were helped from the field.

They look doubtful for Saturday's Powergen Shield trip to the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

YM Hawks 19 Thurston II 23

THIS match really was the proverbial "game of two halves" as a lacklustre YM team allowed the visitors from Thurston to gain a 20-point half-time lead.

A few personnel changes, combined with a serious attitude adjustment, saw the hosts outscoring the visitors 19-3 after the break.

But time ran out in the gloomy conditions before the comeback could be completed.

Bury 13 Hadleigh 6

BURY turned their season around with a fine win over local rivals Hadleigh in London League Division Three North East.

They surprised the visitors by running at them, but Hadleigh held out and after working their way upfield Berriman kicked the first points of the game. However, from then on Bury took total control of the scrum and line-out, with the front row of David Blackwell, Jamie Johnson and Chris Oxborrow outstanding and Justin Smythe and Chris Kent commanding the line-outs.

The pack pushed Hadleigh over their own line for Chris Kent to touch down for the first try of the game, but Hadleigh once again came back and Berriman kicked his second penalty to take a 6-5 half-time lead.

Cecil and Larter man of the match Matt Ellison set the tone for Bury in the second half with straight running and hard hitting which helped enable the home side to camp in the Hadleigh half.

Eventually Bury were able to crash over for a second well-deserved try to regain the lead and then Charlie Rook finally landed a penalty.

By this stage Hadleigh had run out of ideas and were trying to run from everywhere, only to be faced with a solid line of defence.

Bury were prepared to scrap for every ball and played the conditions far better than Hadleigh.

Supporters of Hadleigh will hope that the coaching staff and players will learn from this debacle and carry the lessons through the rest of the season.

Hadleigh cannot afford the luxury of this sort of display in the Powergen Intermediate Cup against London League Division One outfit Hertford.

Stowmarket 25 Upper Clacton 3

STOWMARKET dedicated the game in memory of John 'Gurry' King, who died last week, and were determined to make it a victorious send-off for one of their founder members and devout supporters.

They did so in style to take the Eastern Counties Division One points.

Relf stepped in at scrum-half as Pearmain failed a late fitness test, and after a slow opening in difficult conditions it was Relf who opened the scoring with a surging drive.

Wing Rhys Jones was denied a debut try due to a dropped pass and from a ruck it was blind-side flanker Taylor who blocked a kick and dived through for the second try.

From another driving scrum Relf claimed his second try by dropping on the ball over the line.

Clapton put three points on the board from a penalty after Warner was sin-binned, but replacement Norfolk soon gathered a low pass and went over for a try.

To complete the scoring prop Chris Smith powered through for Stowmarket's fifth try.

Witham 7 Felixstowe 10

AFTER a game which was as uninspiring as the weather, Witham had a chance to draw level with a last-minute penalty.

Instead they went for the win by running the ball and were held up, giving Felixstowe the Eastern Counties Division Three North points.

Scrum-half Tom Ranson scored all the Felixstowe points while Witham had two players sent to the bin during this game.