To put it bluntly Cantabs were smarting from the defeat to Southwold last week, a defeat that, although well earned by Southwold, was helped by some under par performances from the Cantabs pack. Holt have been historically Cantabs bogey team, indeed no one playing could ever remember beating them. The plan was clear then, get back to winning ways and put the pressure on Stowmarket and West Norfolk.
As expected the early exchanges were fierce as both teams attempted to stamp their authority on the match. Cantabs however were persistently a little over exuberant at the break down, conceding a number of penalties, all over which would give Holt their 9 points.
The first penalty was conceded early in the game, Holt converting to make it 3-0. However Cantabs felt that they had the upper hand up front and if we could get some good quick ball to the backs they were there for the taking. Soon enough from a solid scrum the ball was passed out to Ali who scored under the posts, lovett converting to make it 7-3. However further penalties at the break down allowed 2 more kickable point which Holt grabbed with both hands, half time score was 9-7.
The half time team talk was brief, stop giving penalties away, play on the front foot and get some quick ball and the win was there to be taken. Apart from the very start of the 1st half were Holt missed a kick virtually all of the first 30 minutes of the second half was played in Holts half with Cantabs pushing and probing for a try. Although one was deemed to be held up there was some excellent defense with Dean James tracking back for a last ditch tackle stopping Holt scoring a breakaway try.
And so into the last ten minutes, Cantabs secured a scrum 5 and Dean James pulled away from the scrum, Chris Walliker flicking it to him (exposing his ribs nicely...but the Holt defense were not quite quick enough) Dean danced around the defenders to score under the posts for a converted try, making it 14-9 going into the last 8 minutes.
And that is how the score line stayed, although for the final 5 minutes Holt peppered Cantabs try line their defense held firm, allowing Holt to drive, only to be pushed back waiting for the mistake to happen. And eventually it did, a holt player knocking and the ref blowing the final whistle.
A fantastic win for Cantabs, who with a remarkable potential 8 first team players being unavailable it was one of the performances of the season. With Haverhill pulling out of the league Cantabs are currently top, all be it with Stowmarket and West Norfolk having a game in hand. So the remainder of the season is simple, keep winning and the final table should make very attractive reading!