Stowmarket win to take top spot

RUGBY UNION: Stowmarket 27 Holt 0. A convincing win hoisted JV Windows-sponsored Stowmarket to the top of Eastern Counties League Division One.The Holt pack was big and strong and took the ball on well.


Stowmarket 27 Holt 0

A CONVINCING win hoisted JV Windows-sponsored Stowmarket to the top of Eastern Counties League Division One.

The Holt pack was big and strong and took the ball on well. For the first 15 minutes they pushed ahead, but as usual Stowmarket's defence was solid.

Stowmarket settled and Jones kicked the first points of the afternoon with a penalty.

The first of five sin-bins was made on the Holt second row for constantly playing the ball on the floor and minutes later Stowmarket scrum-half Pearmain took his place under the opposing posts.

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By now Stowmarket had set their stall. The ball went out to Warner on the right-wing and after a good carry it was recycled and quickly passed out to Jones on the left-wing, who scored in the corner.

Holt again were penalised and lost another player and Stowmarket took advantage. Good takes by Crowe and Norfolk, powerful runs by Clarke and Slight and a quick ball to the backs soon led to Norfolk picking up from a ruck and driving through a number of defenders to score.

With a healthy 15-0 lead at the turn, Stowmarket were determined not to let Holt cross their line. Ten minutes into the second half, the forwards set up a ruck outside the Holt 22 and fly-half Lawson went through a gap to score unopposed under the posts.

Holt were tiring and the Stowmarket front row of Sanders, Robertson and Smith had control at every scrum.

A quick ball again to the backs saw Tuitubou in support to score the fourth try. Although beaten, Holt pressed the home line for the remaining five minutes but try-saving tackles from Brown and Warner and solid defence from the whole team kept them at bay.

Sudbury 14 Shelford 20

SUDBURY gave a far more spirited performance but failed to secure the much-needed win required to keep alive any hope of avoiding relegation from London League Division Two North East.

Shelford, next to bottom, opened the scoring after a five-metre line-out when they rolled the maul.

After 25 minutes, from ruck ball, Jon Coone broke the defence to score a fine try which was converted by Chris Withey.

Rob intercepted a pass on the Shelford ten-metre line to score a fine individual try under the posts.

Both sides desperately needed a win but neither was able to dominate and tempers became frayed.

A penalty for pulling down in the line allowed Shelford to close the gap to 14-8 with only 12 minutes to go.

Then came the cruellest blow of all for Sudbury as Shelford ran in two tries in injury time.

Shelford scored from a penalty line-out and maul and then – from a scrummage on the five-metre line – they crossed again to secure the points from the last move of the game.

Sudbury have another difficult game this week in the Powergen Cup when they play Civil Service away, a side one league below Sudbury, but who have not lost a league game for two seasons.

COLCHESTER were worthy 47-7 winners over Sudbury in the Suffolk Under-17 Cup, despite fielding a number of U-16s.

They monopolised play in the first half and then regained control in the second.

Ipswich 19 Bishop's Stortford 8

BISHOP'S Stortford arrived at Humber Doucy Lane having lost for the first time all season a week earlier, a defeat that saw them replaced at the top of London League Division Two North.

Ipswich, on the other hand, have been inconsistent, producing a lacklustre performance a week earlier when they lost to an average Cambridge team.

However, the home team was unrecognisable from the side that has struggled this season and produced a marvellous display.

The pack dominated, dictating the game for long periods and when they went on the rumble, the visitors could do little to stop them.

Ipswich applied the early pressure but only had two long-range penalties from Hughes to show for it.

Bishop's Stortford responded but the Ipswich cover defence was solid, with full-back Harding marshalling things and centre Brotherton and wing Keeling making crunching tackles.

A third Hughes penalty made it 9-0 at half-time and the match was still wide open when the teams exchanged penalties early in the second half.

Home nerves were jangling when Stortford gained a line-out ten metres from the line. Ipswich held the initial drive, but from the resulting scrum the visitors worked the ball to their winger, who slipped in for a well-taken try near the corner flag.

Kerr broke his ribs in forcing the winger into the corner, but it may have been a worthy sacrifice as the conversion failed and Ipswich remained 12-8 ahead.

The Ipswich pack went back to work to frustrate the Stortford forwards and the visiting number eight was sin-binned for killing the ball.

The extra man proved decisive for Ipswich and, following a line-out, Price claimed the ball and the pack drove remorselessly for the line.

Stortford collapsed the maul, but from the resulting scrum Primmer ran blind and fed Skipper, who crossed for a well-deserved try. Hughes once again converted.

Middlesex 46 Suffolk 5

A DEPLETED Suffolk Under-15 squad travelled to Enfield for a training game.

The home side used their big, powerful backs to run at Suffolk and within five minutes they had muscled through tackles for the opening score. Suffolk tried to drive Middlesex back, but the hosts were too strong and too quick. Two more tries followed.

Suffolk had more possession in the second of three periods and through Dodunski and Geatches they made good ground. Middlesex scored two more tries before Suffolk managed a reply with full-back David Smith (Colchester) sprinting 50 metres to score.

Other result: Suffolk U-14s 7 Herts U-14s 12 (played at Colchester).