Woodford 1st XV 40 : 24 Holt 1st XV (Away bonus point league loss)
Norwich 2nd XV 7 : 28 Holt 2nd XV (Away league win)
Holt 3rd XV 10 : 24 Watton 1st XV (Home league loss)
Many thanks to Phil Sharpe and Martyn Jackson as always for their contributions to the following match report.
Please click here for photos of the 1st XV game.
All three of Holt’s senior teams played on Saturday, which saw the 1st XV embark on a long journey once again this season down the M11. Our opposition this time was Woodford, a formidable adversary comfortably sitting in third place in the league hierarchy, several places above us. We anticipated this game would be a tough challenge, given both the weather conditions and Woodford's clinical approach. A strong gang of travelling Holt supporters also made this journey south and were treated to a great pre-match lunch and hospitality. Phil said: "Collectively we understood the magnitude at hand, however we all maintain an unwavering belief that success is not solely about the numerical result, but about triumphing in the small battles that collectively shape the match".
Phil continued: "The complexity of these battles became apparent as the match unfolded, presenting us with perplexing challenges; one notable one being interpreting the referee's signals, decisions and understanding their vision for the unfolding game. Despite the confusion, our resolve remained unshaken; this did not diminish player effort nor dampen drive and ambition".
First half tries were scored by Tom Jackson on 23 mins following a break from Pete Medler (Ali Hughes converted) and Ali Hughes on 38 mins after a break from Mel Gilmour and ground cover from Ollie Woodrow.
During halftime, Phil said "we concentrated on the adjustments required to sustain our engagement and press forward positively. Recognising the limitations of altering factors beyond our control, we focused on elements we could influence. Some matches contribute to building our league position, while others serve as opportunities for character development; this encounter unequivocally fell into the latter category".
Second half tries were scored by James Gosden on 72 mins after a tap & go following a 10m Holt penalty, and Henry Perowne on 80 mins with another tap & go following a 5m Holt penalty (Ali Hughes converting).
Finally Phil said "As ever, our travelling supporters made their presence felt, letting the players know they were with them every nail-biting minute, and just possibly this ‘16th man’ helped us to get over the line for the 4th try and a bonus losing point in the dying minute of the game, a significant feat in the context of an away game of such magnitude".
Congratulations to the 1st XV Moongazerale Man of the Match Henry Perowne for some fantastic hard ball carrying and gaining the bonus point try. Henry is sponsored by Martyn Sloman and Jo Lincoln.
Well done to the 2nd XV who came away with a fantastic win against Norwich 2's away; congratulations to their man of the match Fred Comber. It was a hard game for the Tertians at home which saw them come out second against Watton 1st XV; congratulations to their man of the match Alex Horth.
Holt is growing in stature and building confidence in this competitive league, playing at this level for the first time in our history. We look ahead with eager anticipation to the next games scheduled for December, which present home fixtures against Saffron Walden on the 2nd and Southend Saxons on the 9th, with an away match the following Saturday against a neighbouring adversary Norwich. All home 1st XV games are preceded by a pre-match lunch; every one is welcome including non members. The upcoming challenges offer opportunities to enhance our league standing where we currently sit in 8th position; everyone is welcome to be our ‘16th man’.