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EASTERN COUNTIES 1 Ipswich YM68 Norwich Crusaders 7

WITH ten minutes gone the deadlock was broken by YM with Terblanche shrugging off the Crusaders’ defenders to score under the posts with Elliston converting.

Within two minutes of the restart, the YM backs had cut the Crusaders’ defenders in half and Howard ran in under the posts for the second of the day.

On 20 minutes, YM’s Ford put in a run from the half way line to score a fantastic solo try in the corner with Elliston getting the conversion from the sideline.

Once again from the kick-off, YM powered up the field with a great driving maul from the forwards which once again released the YM backs to split the Crusaders defence and full back Kenny scored under the posts.

With 25 minutes gone, YM had already secured the bonus point try. Things just got better and better from this point with the remaining 15 minutes of the half seeing three more scores for the hosts.

The second half got under way and within two minutes, Styles, who was having a fantastic game, scored the first try of the second half. Ford and Hockley were the next two players to go over before YM took their foot off the pedal. This allowed Crusaders to get into the game for the first time and, on 60 minutes, they did manage to cross the YM line for their only score of the day.

Woodbridge Warriors 17 Thurston 13

WOODBRIDGE welcomed bottom-of-the-league Thurston hoping for victory, but the visitors had a different idea and attacked from the start, keeping Woodbridge pinned in their half for most of the opening quarter.

With the wind behind Thurston, Ben Sinclair put in some long penetrating kicks and they looked dangerous in the Warriors’ 22 and, turning the scrum, they sustained the attack before mauling from a line-out and prop Naylor scored, converted by Sinclair.

Thurston maintained pressure as full-back Scott kicked over on the left and forced Woodbridge offside allowing Sinclair to take another three points.

The home team sharpened up and Lloyd was stopped short of the line and Josh Kimber missed a penalty before he intercepted, scored and converted.

The Warriors worked their way back to the Thurston 22 only for Jamie Smith to misjudge a free ball and over-kick an up and under. Thurston’s Sinclair took another three points.

Thurston re-started hard and second-row Silcocks had a great run. However, the Warriors resisted and tensions rose before Dallas was binned.

Woodbridge’s forwards then exploited another penalty on the Thurston 22 for Ben Cope and the pack to recycle to Jono Cooke who punched over and scored for Kimber to convert.

The Warriors’ backs were getting better ball from open play and used this to score another penalty three points and keep a resurgent Thurston from bridging the four-point gap.

EASTERN COUNTIES 2 Haverhill 28 Mistley 12

HAVERHILL were 5-0 up thanks to winger Martin Hughes’ effort inside the first minute.

On 22 minutes, a great move saw Haverhill’s Brad Gibson cross the line in the corner, but he was adjudged to have gone out of the field of play and a five-metre line ensued.

Haverhill camped on the Mistley line and finally, on 32 minutes, a quick pass from Gavin Hope from the maul saw George Foley gather, jink inside two defenders and place the ball over the line for the second try. Jake Jeffs’ conversion was short.

With a penalty in front of the posts on the stroke of half time, Hughes made the score 13-0 on the turn.

On 43 minutes, a Mistley penalty was quickly taken and Haverhill watched as the player ran 20 metres to score in the corner for 13-5.

Being in front of a probing Chancy Mulama kick saw Haverhill penalised and backchat caused the infringement to be bought 10 metres up the park. Mistley went for the posts but the kick was wide.

Mistley attacked Haverhill and camped on their line for a number of phases, but Haverhill finally cleared to 40 metres and the pressure was released.

A Lansdowne drive on 60 minutes saw the player make 40 metres from the half-way line. The resultant ruck was quickly recycled and a succession of passes between Jeffs, Lester and Adam Hunt finally saw Jeffs over the line for 18-5, the Mulama kick went just wide.

Another nice move between Flannery and Harris led to a penalty for Haverhill and Jeffs slotted the ball over for 21-5.

A storming Nash on the wing intercepted the ball for Haverhill, robbing the Mistley defender, and Hunt was released for a try under the posts, Jeffs converting.

On the final play, Haverhill were penalised for a high tackle five metres out. The resulting tap-penalty was passed to the huge second-row Mistley player who just managed to clear the line for a converted try and 28-12 at the whistle.

National Challenge SE1 League Richmond 27 Woodbridge Amazons 22

Richmond looked the more organised squad in the opening exchanges as the Amazons probed their defences despite conceding penalties for some silly mistakes.

The Amazons pack looked competent however and won the first of many scrums against the head to hold most of the possession but their backs failed to capitalise on it.

Richmond’s defensive line held well, Allen and O’Leary in particular until their attack improved, coaxing some hard tackles from the Amazons and testing full back Emma Johnson.

The pressure eventually paid off, Gifford missed a penalty attempt at goal and, eventually Lou Allen scored. The visitors countered though EJ Stearn and Lou Rickard ably supported by their pack and Morven McAlpine at scrum half.

Despite the lion’s share of possession and territory it took until the end of the half for Johnson to run wide and level the score.

Hard work by the Richmond forwards pushed the Amazons back from the off and Serena Carter scored quickly through a weak defence only for the Amazons to reply quickly through their backs and run from deep through Stearn, Louise Holmes out to Chloe Stopard-Baker who scored and converted.

Richmond responded with a steady build up, keeping the ball and mauling to the 22 where Serena Carter scored again. The faster pace continued as Richmond galvanised on the loose ball to work steadily up-field to get Lindsay Topham over.

At this the Amazons redoubled efforts, their scrum continuing to perform well and launching EJ Stearn to break the line and score twice to level the score with two minutes to run.

A tense final surge saw Richmond hold the ball to the Amazons 5m line where their final attack drew the defence right leaving Lisa Berry clear on the left to score the winner.

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