Holt II 17 Dereham 56 – Coach is so proud of his winning side’s efforts

Dereham man-of-the match Ruddy Gant breaks a Holt tackle to score. Picture: KIRSTY DREW

Dereham man-of-the match Ruddy Gant breaks a Holt tackle to score. Picture: KIRSTY DREW - Credit: Archant

Dereham's cancelled match last week did little to blunt their attacking play.

A depleted Dereham team were missing four of their first-choice forwards on Saturday and with other players also being asked to play out of position, a difficult afternoon was expected.

Holt showed good pace through their centres early on but it was Dereham who opened the scoring in the fifth minute following a great 20-metre maul. The ball was eventually passed wide from the back for stand-in full back Rudyard Gant to score. Stand in-kicker Brett Stolworthy converted.

The big and experienced Holt pack were giving their much lighter Dereham equivalent some problems which they have not been used to and some relief kicks were necessary. Dereham decided their best ploy was to run the opposition around the field and in the 20th minute, several slick interchanges between the backs allowed fly-half Ethan Jones to score (converted). Five minutes later, Dereham were unable to counter the big Holt forwards who used their bulk to force over following several pick and drives.

Retaliation was instantaneous with Harry Graham outpacing the Holt defence. A classy score followed with prop 'Chunk' Davies making the initial break on half way. Good support from Jack Hill saw him make good ground and pass for Alex Amys to score.

The irrepressible Gant scored a great individual try late in the half which came to a close when Jones released captain Dan Ponder to score in the last play of the half.

Holt were under the cosh after the break and conceded a penalty before the ruthless Stolworthy opened his account with an opportunist try.

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The Holt scrum was still dominant however at this stage and their number 10 was quick to see an opening from the back to score in the 50th minute.

Again, Eastern Counties Division Two North Dereham's reply was instant when a determined Jones wriggled through several tackles to score well. Another score came from man-of-the-match Gant.

Senior coach Leon Pears said: 'I was really pleased with the overall performance.

'Some unavailabilities and late call-offs meant that we had to move several players into unaccustomed positions for this match but their response was magnificent.

'We did the simple things well and all the players should be really proud of their performance.'