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Travelling still a problem for rugby club

By Jim Morgan at Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich on Tuesday, 6th December 2011.

SUFFOLK MERIT LEAGUE, DIVISION ONE: Ipswich Magpies 38, Haverhill 1st XV 7. Match report

With the second team game cancelled Haverhill managed to field a side to play the top Ipswich Magpies side away from home. With Carl Anderson’s hamstring breaking down before the game, injury was not an option for the 15 players on the park.

With scrum half Gavin Hope side-lined through injury and fly Half Mark Jury unable to play, Haverhill had to play two players out of position to fill these roles and this proved difficult for the marriage between the forwards and backs throughout the game

With four youngsters picking up their first run out for the firsts, the performances of Ryan Daly at prop, George Foley at open side flanker, Tom Jury at scrum half and Elliott Patrick at full back, together with Harry Marsh at blind side flanker and Dom Farnell on the wing, meant Haverhill can be pleased with the efforts of the junior coaching team for turning out players of this calibre at such a young age.

Playing with the strong wind from the off, Haverhill attacked the Ipswich half for the first 15 minutes of the game, with Micky Lansdowne’s return to the inside centre role again proving what a good player this young man is.

With the first Ipswich scrum being demolished by Haverhill, and prop Daly performing with great skill with his counterpart Alex Hieatt and Ben Jackson at hooker, the front row was powerfully supported by the locks of Martin Ransome and Adrian Cooper.

For the whole game, Ipswich struggled to compete in the scrum and were shocked at the power and control of the front five and the speed and power shown by the young flankers of Marsh and Foley.

Chris Flannery at number eight continued where he left off the previous week with great control and penetration from the back of the scrum causing issues for Ipswich throughout the game.

It was on 15 minutes when Ipswich finally crossed their halfway line and showed great skills in their backs and looked dangerous as the ball was spun wide. It was a pity that the first try came on 20 minutes to a huge forward pass, allowing the Ipswich player to cross under the posts for 7-0.

Ipswich were immediately back and a great tackle from Foley stopped one line of attack, followed by a huge try-saving tackle for Adam Hunt straight after taking the Ipswich player into touch for a Haverhill line-out.

The line ball was a bit too clever for the position and wind and did not go to the line pod, for Ipswich to spin wide and cross in the corner for 12-0.

Haverhill came back and never let their heads drop, fighting the whole game. A penalty was cleverly performed by fly half Stewart Newman, who used the wind well with a chip kick that was nearly intercepted by Hunt for a score.

A second penalty, kicked by Hunt bounced off the post and again was nearly cleared up by Haverhill for the score, but the Ipswich line held.

With some dubious refereeing decisions, or lack of them, frustration can come to the fore and on 30 minutes a punch thrown at Brodie Patrick led to a rather large melee of players from both sides getting into the mix and yellow cards for Patrick and the Ipswich protagonist.

With five minutes to half-time a fantastic run from Hunt almost saw Haverhill get onto the scoreboard, but the move was turned over surprisingly with the numbers involved with calls of “hands” ringing out.

On the stroke of half-time a clearance from Newman, which would have seen the end of the half if touch had been found, was charged down and a score ensued for 19-0 at the whistle.

The restart was all Haverhill and a lovely run by Newman was cut short with a high tackle that went unpunished, and not for the last time, but Hunt cleared and scored, converting to make the game 19-7.

The attitude of some of the Ipswich reserves to the high tackle was surprising in as much that “he got up”.

The red card in the world cup semi-final was right. Dangerous play is dangerous and it should not be a measure of if you break the players’ neck or not as to whether there is sanction of the perpetrator and referees should be firm at any level of the game.

Haverhill continued to attack, with a great Foley run to ten metres causing havoc in the Ipswich defence and the likes of Jackson, Cooper and Ransome causing issues in the Ipswich defence all the time.

It took Ipswich to 60 minutes in before they got onto the board again. Haverhill defended like lions for a sustained period of play, with Hunt putting in tackle after tackle, but finally the pressure told and Ipswich crossed the line for 24-7. The conversion kick was timed out.

After another fine Hunt tackle, the line-out ball was lost by Haverhill and Ipswich again spun wide and another forward pass saw them cross the line on 65 minutes, this time the kick being taken and converted for 31-7. Then on 70 minutes Ipswich crossed the line again after a lovely piece of flowing backs play for 38-7.

We could end the report here, but Haverhill came back and for the last ten minutes of the game camped in the Ipswich half with all players refusing to stop fighting and continuing to play the best rugby they were capable of.

Many players deserve mention in this game. Young Tom Jury was out of position at scrum half, but turned in a great performance. Dom Farnell on the wing tackled like a Trojan and Elliott Patrick at full back will admit he is not the full deal yet, but he never let the side down and, for a spectator, there was always the confidence that he would be there and clear up.

However, one player was in the mix the whole game, stopping many tries with crunching body tackles and this is why Adam Hunt gets the man of the match award.

Haverhill Online News

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