Dereham 32 Holt II 12 – Wonder try is icing on cake of fine Eastern Counties Two North victory

Dereham scrum half Chris Fish sets up another slick attack. Picture: STUART YOUNG, HOLT RFC.

Dereham scrum half Chris Fish sets up another slick attack. Picture: STUART YOUNG, HOLT RFC. - Credit: Archant

Dereham turned in a classy display at Moorgate Road on Saturday.

Holt's match been called off so a strong-looking second side, bolstered by some first-team players, took to the field. Dereham kicked into the wind first half but were soon under pressure. A penalty against the home club for crossing straight from the kick off saw Holt deep in the Dereham half. They quickly forced two line-outs and set a maul from the latter which Dereham were unable to defend. Following a missed penalty opportunity, Dereham began to find their feet.

Coach Rob Jones was calling for continued determination which paid off when fly-half Jack Edwards crossed from close range (unconverted). Further slick handling through the backs saw the home team mount a series of attacks but Holt were resilient. They were also using the wind at their backs well and a long clearance was touched down by Dereham in their own goal area. The resultant drop out was charged down by Holt who picked up the loose ball to score under the posts (converted).

Another long Holt clearance was picked up by full-back Phil East who ran the ball from his own 22m line before releasing in side to Harry Graham. A glorious series of passes followed which tore through the Holt defence. Andy Brooke took the plaudits but the great open play leading up to the score was the best seen by the Moorgate faithful for some time, particularly taking into account the weather.

This score rejuvenated the home team, who had clawed their deficit back to 12-10, and with a tail wind, they set about the visitors straight from the kick-off. Coach Jones had made good use of the experienced bench and it was Dereham's turn now to win line out and set maul which their big forwards drove over three minutes into the half (unconverted).

Chunk Davies finished off another slick Dereham move (unconverted). The next period of the game saw an exchange of penalties and turnovers before the home team again exerted their control. The forwards won a scrum and quick ball released centre Craig Chester. The support play was excellent and good rucking enabled Davies to force over the line for his second try (converted). The formality of a Davies hat-trick came late on.

Jones said: 'This was one of the better performances from the team since I arrived. We were playing a strong Holt team but we were excellent in all areas.

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'The defence was sound when it had to be and we had great attacking options which we executed well in the main. I'm very pleased with the performance and would like to think we can carry this momentum into Saturday away match against Norwich Medics.'