Rochford Hundred grind out hard victory against Holt

Echo: Tom Ashton - in impressive form for Rochford Hundred Tom Ashton - in impressive form for Rochford Hundred

THIRD placed Rochford Hundred ground out a hard fought 34-28 win against Holt. The win was Rochford’s seventh in succession.

But first team manager Graham Pratt felt the closing stages of the game should not have been so nerve-wracking “We deserved the win as we dominated most aspects of the game for the majority of the time but could so easily have lost it.”

“With only six points the difference we had to defend with all our might before the final whistle blew and we could breathe a sigh of relief. It kept the run going but Ipswich next week will be a very stern test indeed.”

Rochford started at a pace and were soon ahead when man of the match Tom Ashton slotted over a penalty and impressive flanker Darren Spencer scored a try which Ashton also converted.

Holt hit back with a penalty kick of their own before Hundred’s lively full back Sam Edwards went over for a well taken try which Ashton converted.

At 17-3 the home side should have been looking to run away with the game but the stubborn Holt outfit fought back to score a breakaway try which was converted and, late in the half, they scored again to bring the score line to 17–15 at the break.

The second half was mostly Rochford attacking from all phases with centres Michael Stemp and Matt. Stewart making some impressive runs as Holt’s defence was stretched repeatedly.

The Norfolk side presented the home outfit with some problems but no scores came from them until later in half. However, the star of the show was Ashton (with 24 points) who again showed why he is such an asset.

That tally included two second half tries which he duly converted to put his team 31-15 and that should have been the end of it.

But the visitors had different ideas as they stormed back with two tries of their own. Ashton came to the rescue with a neat penalty kick to extend the lead but late on, after more pressure, Holt were awarded

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