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Seconds enjoy their day against Ipswich

By Jim Morgan on Tuesday, 8th November 2011.

SUFFOLK MERIT LEAGUE DIVISION TWO: Haverhill 2nd XV 50 Ipswich YM 3rd XV 8. Match report.

With the first team resting, Haverhill did not pack the second team with first choice players as this would have been divisive and make nonsense of the revival taking place at the Castle Fields.

A great mixture of young and mature rugby heads took to the field on a dismal day, with a good crowd eager to see how the twos would deal with an Ipswich side lent three Haverhill players from the off.

In the eight minutes before the scrums went uncontested, Ipswich had no answer to the Haverhill pack, losing every ball put in to the set piece. Had scrums not gone uncontested, the scoreline would have been an even larger margin than the 42 points achieved.

Special mention goes to two of the youngsters who figured largely in this game and put the first points onto the scoreboard.

James Craig, making his debut starting as scrum half was inspirational. He bossed the pack, demanding further phase ball when required but achieved a recycle time at the set that would grace teams of a much higher standing.

Elliott Patrick at full back had a masterful game, clearing up ball with ease, never panicking, taking one of the biggest hits seen on the Castle Field for a long time and still being able to offload the ball and showing Jonny Wilkinson how it should be done with the boot for points and position.

It took 13 minutes before Craig popped out from the back of the scrum, jinked past the Ipswich back row tackle and popped the ball over the line for Patrick to slot over for 7-0.

Ipswich finally crossed the Haverhill centre line on 15 minutes, but Aaron Carr had other ideas, running a full 90 metres up field and scoring under the posts for Patrick to inexplicably miss the easy kick.

YM got onto the board when Haverhill held the ball in a tackle to make it 12-3 on 22 minutes.

Patrick, breaking out from his 22 on the half hour, ably supported by Ricky Smith with good and quick hands, carried the ball into the Ipswich half for Paulo Nash to break through, evade a trip that should have picked up a card for the Ipswich player and score under the posts for Patrick to convert and 19-3, which is how it stayed until the turn.

From the restart we saw one of the greatest pieces of play to grace the field for many years - quick phase from Craig to Carr and then Keiron McDonagh stretched the Ipswich line. The pass to Paulo Nash was picked and flicked in one move, opening up Ipswich like a tin can, for Ryan Daly to score in the corner for 24-3. The kick in the swirling wind was just wide.

McDonagh, not to be left out, crossed the line after a 40-metre run on 44 minutes to make the score 29-3.

Honours were fairly even for the next 15 minutes, until a line-out for Ipswich was won and the forward managed to evade the tackles and cross the line for 29-8 and their last real effort of note.

From the restart, Nash crossed the line after a great jinking run for Patrick to gain the extra points and 36-8 on 61 minutes.

With Nash setting the next try for Neil Richards on 66 minutes and 43-8, Carr again ran almost the length of the field and on the whistle, Patrick took the 2 extra points and the half century.

A great overall performance, with veterans Paul Bergin and Alan Burnett being in the mix at every opportunity and many others putting in noteworthy efforts, man of match went to Paulo Nash for a commanding performance at the outside centre position.

With the first team facing three big tests in the next three weeks - Colchester away on the 12th, Diss 2nds at home on the 19th and then Felixstowe at home in the final of the Suffolk Plate at 2pm on November 26 - there will be more great rugby to be seen at the Castle Fields this month.

Haverhill Online News

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