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Rugby club bounce back with a demolition job

By JIm Morgan at Castle Playing Fields on Tuesday, 1st November 2011.

SUFFOLK MERIT LEAGUE, DIVISION ONE: Haverhill 64 Ipswich YM 2nds 0. Match report.

A minute's silence for Sandie Saunders, former England and Lions International, president of the RFU and long-standing member of Ipswich YMís rugby club was the only time that the Ipswich team were on even terms for this great bounce back from the Haverhill side.

With the front five all performing superbly and Simon Potter back in his inspirational position at number eight and the pairing of Ricky Brown and Carl Anderson mopping up anything in their path, Ipswich's day was a long, hard and painful journey.

A Mark Jury 30-metre run inside two minutes led to an Ipswich scrum on five metres that was totally destroyed by the Haverhill pack and quick-thinking skipper Hope planted the loose ball for 5-0.

From the restart, prop Lee Eagle gathered and stormed 40 metres up the park, demolishing all before him, setting the ball for Jury whose juggle was intercepted by the YM centre for what looked like a certain score.

But great work from Brad Gibson, Joe Brown and a thumping try-saving tackle from the magnificent Adam Hunt stopped the YM player on the line.

Haverhill then just dominated the ball in the set and loose play, with scrum, maul, line and ruck being a one-way affair.

On 15 minutes, Potter popped out of the back of the scrum for a try, a Hunt conversion and 12-0. There was only another three minutes on the clock when some good hand work allowed prop Lee Eagle across the line for Hunt to convert and 19-0.

A clever move on 25 minutes led to nothing when a deft chip kick from Stuart Newman just ran too long for the chasing Hunt to score.

Probably the only problem area that Haverhill could be guilty of was handling, dropping too much ball at the vital moment, epitomised when a Potter harrying move led to the number eight running 40 metres up field for a great lay-off and certain try to be fumbled for a YM scrum.

This only postponed the try for a few seconds as Haverhill drove Ipswich off the ball and a swift move along the backs allowed Hunt over for a converted try and 26-0 on 35 minutes.

The restart saw Adrian Cooper gather and cavort up the pitch, taking all in his path for a 35-metre run, setting a superb ball for the chasing pack, but again the move broke down on the line through a fumble.

The consensus was that Haverhill deserved another try before the half, and Ben Jackson had the same idea, punching a hole in the defence and setting for quick Hope ball to Jury and then Newman to cross under the posts and Hunt to add the extra two points for 33-0 and the whistle.

On 45 minutes, Dom Farnell replaced Brodie Patrick and Chris Flannery allowed the big man Martin Ransome to put his feet up, but not for long.

Farnell, making his first team debut, was in the mix from the off, picking up a stray ball from his 22 and running a full 50 metres to lay off the ball for quick hands to pass along the line for full back, Brad Gibson to cross the line in the corner and then saunter to the posts for a Hunt-converted try and 40-0 on 47 minutes.

Injuries to Ricky Brown and Lee Eagle saw Ricky Harris and the slightly-rested Ramsome return, with Potter advancing to hooker and Flannery to number eight to ensure scrums were contested in the one-sided competition.

Flannery got on the scorecard from the back of the scrum on 53 minutes and Joe Brown crossed four minutes later, both converted by Hunt and 54-0.

On 60 minutes, a lovely crossfield move involving all the backs saw Farnell scoring in the corner for 59-0.

On 67 minutes, a rare Ipswich flurry into the Haverhill half saw the wing cross the line, but the ever-present Hunt superbly tackling and turning him skywards ensured he did not ground the ball.

Haverhill continued to make opportunity after opportunity, let down by the fumbled ball.

A final flourish saw Hunt cross the whitewash for his second try and 64-0 and the final whistle as the conversion slipped wide.

This could have been a three-figure score if 50 per cent of the dropped ball had gone to hand, but after last week, this was a strong performance that would have buried Bury the previous week.

Hunt and Potter were awesome in their work rate and contribution, but other players went about their craft with unstated passion and skill. Adrian Cooper was one of these and the man of the match went to the ever-improving lock forward.

Haverhill Online News

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