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Rugby club grind out last win of a great season

By Jim Morgan at The Street, Swaffham on Monday, 12th April 2010.

EASTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE, DIVISION TWO: Swaffham 15 Haverhill 18, match report.

A bus and a convoy of cars went over the border to support the already-promoted Haverhill side, hoping that Ipswich YM would turn over the leaders Harwich on the last day of the season.

Haverhill again start slowly, with the forwards not dominating the scrum and line as they usually do, and on seven minutes, a penalty for holding was kicked to five metres from the Haverhill line.

Swaffham won the ball, and a missed tackle had Swaffham taking the lead. Fortunately for Haverhill, the Swaffham kicker was away, and the conversion was missed.

Mark Jury, the Frank Sinatra of Haverhill rugby due to his many comebacks, was working well in the No 10 position for Haverhill, with some excellent kicking and intelligent lay-offs.

Tom Chambers was acting as a great foil in the fullback position, making huge tackles and running with the ball from all angles and positions.

On 12 minutes, Jake Plumridge broke out and ran 50m to the Swaffham 22m line. This set up play for a five-metre scrum, and Carr squeezed out of the back to score, with Plumridge converting to make the score 5-7.

Haverhill were reduced to 14 men on 29 minutes for deliberate interference in the ruck. From the penalty, a scrum to Swaffham ten metres out had Haverhill driven off the ball and Swaffham grounded the ball over the line for 10-7, the conversion again missed.

Haverhill went to the turn three points down with the news Harwich were 3 points up at Ipswich.

From the restart, Hunt superbly tackled the receiver and Brodie Patrick fly-hacked the ball forward, outpacing the chasing Swaffham defence. A superb pick-up allowed Patrick to clear the line under the post, the conversion inexplicably hitting the post for 10-12 on 42 minutes - a great restart.

On 48 minutes, Gavin Hope was penalised for studs in the ruck and sin binned, but within a minute, a Swaffham man was binned for a dangerous high tackle, evening up the teams.

Haverhill attacked with Jury making big yards into the Swaffham half, but the move broke down.

At 55 minutes in, Plumridge made a great move out and won a penalty on 50m. The Jury kick did not make touch, but Swaffham kicked out badly for a Haverhill line-out on ten metres.

From the resulting play, Haverhill won a penalty and Plumridge stepped up to the tee to make it 10-15 on 58 minutes.

Tom Chambers again showed his superior power and made 70m out from the Haverhill line. Swaffham again infringed for Plumridge to make the score 10-18 on 62 minutes.

Swaffham were not to be silenced, and came back, crossing the line in the corner from the back of the scrum to make the score 15-18 with four minutes remaining. The six missed points were proving expensive.

A try-saving tackle by Jury with a minute remaining led to a Haverhill penalty that was cleared to the 22m line, and the final whistle, with the news that Harwich had done what no other team had done all season and beaten Ipswich YMs 3-9 at Ipswich.

Coach Price said after the game: "Today epitomises the whole season. We never gave up, we believed in our ability, we trusted our skill and we ground out a result."

"I cannot say any more. It has been a total pleasure coaching the squad this year and we deserve our promotion."

"We will enjoy the summer and look forward to competing in the Eastern Counties One next season."

"Lastly I would like to say a special thank you to the fantastic supporters that have followed the squad all season, home and away. Be proud, as you have been our 16th man and I thank you for this."

Haverhill Online News

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