Aldeburgh v Clacton

2nd October Queen’s Field

Result: Aldeburgh 19 Clacton 26

Rugby is back

Rugby is back in Aldeburgh! A soggy, windswept Queen's Field saw a splendid battle against Clacton 2s which Aldeburgh narrowly lost as a result of losing two players to injury while only having one sub.

Having won the toss and elected to take advantage of the brisk breeze, Aldeburgh made a great start with James Ledger picking up where he left off 18 months ago, breaking deep into the Clacton half. A stolen line out, quick movement and Jarvis Levett rumbled over for the first try of the season. Ed Robson converted.

After a competitive spell, Ed put in a magnificent clearance from the 22, Josh Hickman retained possession, Mark Cooper joined him in a rolling maul, the ball was passed to James Ledger who went over in the corner. The conversion was blown off course by yet another strong gust of wind.

Clacton scored next by catching Aldeburgh off guard, taking a quick penalty from a scrum infringement to go in under the sticks. 12-7.

On 30 minutes, they followed it up with a second try from a scrum. The conversion put them into the lead. From the scrum, the scorer of Aldeburgh's first try, Jarvis Levett, was forced off with an injury, replaced by Lee Buckle.

Just before half time, James Ledger notched up a second try through a powerful surge from the forwards. Ed converted. 19-14 lead at half time.

The second half was going to be tough, facing the wind and driving rain. It was quickly made tougher when Mark Cooper took a knee to the back of the head in a tackle, forcing him to leave the pitch. With no more subs, Aldeburgh had to play the whole half with 14 men.

They held out for 20 minutes, including holding a Clacton player up over the line and turning over possession, until Clacton finally breached the Aldeburgh defence for a converted try, putting them back in the lead at 19-21.

With 10 minutes left, Clacton got a final, unconverted try from a 5 metre scrum.

It was an action-packed game, played in a good spirit. Aldeburgh will be pleased to have maintained good discipline throughout. Three players were picked out for special praise: James Ledger, Jarvis Levett and Ed Robson. The dubiously named award for less successful player on the day, was harshly awarded to Freddie Burgess who, despite having sworn that he would never play in the front row, sacrificed himself for the team by playing hooker. Rugby players can be harsh!

Special mention must be made of James Cook, former Aldeburgh player, who generously stood in at the last moment as referee. He was fair and consistent, enabling the match to take place and all the players to have a good game.

The after match session in the clubhouse was enjoyed by all as a welcome return to normality. Let's hope it continues that way.

Acknowledgement to Club Chairman, Lee Barber, who provided the information for this report from a soggy touchline.

Mistley 2nd v Aldeburgh

16th October Mistley

Result: Mistley 12 Aldeburgh 24

Back to Winning Ways

A mild, rainless, Autumn day. A good pitch soft from recent rain providing a perfect surface. An abundance of players, a competitive match and the first win for two years. What could be better?

It didn’t start well. Aldeburgh missed touch from an early penalty. Mistley came straight back, being awarded a penalty themselves. From the subsequent line out, they drove forward with a rolling maul, were awarded another penalty for a high tackle, took a quick tap and plunged over for a try within four minutes. The conversion made it 7-0.

From the restart, Aldeburgh began to assert themselves. Second row, Jarvis Levett, caught the restart kick, driving forward powerfully. He showed that he could have had a big impact on the game but unfortunately had to leave the field with an injury after 15 minutes.

Nevertheless, a few minutes later, a strong period of play by Aldeburgh ended with a good tactical kick by fly half, Ed Robson, being followed up and turned over, giving James Ledger the opportunity to burst through for his third try of the season. Ed converted to bring the scores level.

The rest of the first half was competitive with both teams having opportunities. Aldeburgh’s forwards continued to make inroads, typified by a strong break from back row forward, Jon Hunt. James Ledger came off for a while after a bang on the knee which showed the vital importance of having subs available. Coach, Paddy Allen, made shrewd use of the players available to him throughout the afternoon.

Level scores at half time was a fair reflection but the second half saw Aldeburgh beginning to dominate. Prop, John Taylor, made a break within the 22 and was only hauled down a couple of metres short. Soon afterwards, more forward pressure created an opportunity for Freddie Burgess (playing out of position at centre this week after hooking last) to burst through for an unconverted try. 7-12.

Mistley even tried a kick at goal from the halfway line, which fell well short, but they could not get into it. Scrum half, Jed Gallant, made a good break before Freddie Burgess was involved again, making an outrageous pass out of the back of his hand to free up Ed Robson’s run to the line. Ed converted to take the score to 7-19.

Ed’s tactical kicking continued to help Aldeburgh play at the right end of the pitch, leading to yet another intervention from Freddie whose powerful running took him over for a second try.

Both teams were understandably beginning to tire by the end. Mistley took advantage with a penalty giving them a line out on the Aldeburgh line from where they rumbled over for a try. The missed conversion was the last kick of an enjoyable match.

Aldeburgh were dominant in the scrum throughout but not quite enough to disrupt Mistley’s possession and won most of their line outs, not always tidily. Their tackling was strong, with good defence across the pitch. The half back pairing of Jed Gallant and Ed Robson, gelled well, providing a fulcrum for the team to work around.

Credit is due to Paddy Allen and team captain, Tristan Revell, for their hard work in finding players right up to the day before the match. Although at this stage it continues to be a struggle each week to have a full squad, today’s result shows how important it is and how much difference it makes.

Aldeburgh v Ipswich YM Hawks

23rd October - Queen’s Field

Result: Aldeburgh 24 Ipswich YM Hawks 17

Another Strong Win

A lovely day, two full teams playing positive rugby, plenty of supporters and the first home win for two years. A great afternoon on the Queen’s Field continued with good cheer in the clubhouse.

Aldeburgh got off to a fantastic start. Attacking from the kick off, a series of drives and quickly taken penalties led to quick ball at a ruck. Fly half, Ed Robson, floated out a superb miss pass to winger, Keiron Roberts, who, with his first touch in his first match for Aldeburgh, powered over for a try, which Ed then converted.

Aldeburgh continued to dominate with lively passing interchanges among the forwards. Another quick ball to Ed Robson saw him dummy then accelerate to break the tackle, dotting down under the posts. He then converted his own try. 14-0 up after ten minutes.

Credit to Ipswich YMs who then gradually clawed their way back into the match. In their first period of pressure, they gained a penalty in the Aldeburgh 22 then had several forward drives and mauls before getting the ball out to the backs who went over wide out. The conversion was missed.

An Aldeburgh try was ruled out for a foot in touch after a fine run by young winger, Adam Hateley. But Aldeburgh stole the line out, got the ball out to the backs where flanker, Jon Hunt, popped up to execute a lovely side step which took him over for another try. Surprisingly, Ed missed the conversion.

Ipswich YMs suffered some injuries which led to Aldeburgh’s Lee Buckle joining the fray for the first time on their side to avoid a mismatch in numbers. He joined in several times for both teams. A sign of the co-operative way rugby is played at this level to ensure that everyone gets a good game.

Despite their injuries, Ipswich YMs bounced back again to put Aldeburgh under pressure. The defensive tackling had been strong all afternoon but another move by YMs backs suddenly saw them run through. The missed conversion left the score at 19-12, closer than Aldeburgh would have liked after all their pressure. The final act of the first half was a penalty attempt at goal missed by YMs.

The second half was more attritional with both sides having periods of pressure without dominating. Aldeburgh’s set scrum was on top throughout but Ipswich YMs did well in the loose. The first period of pressure from Aldeburgh led to a series of forward drives and penalties until James Ledger burst through for his fourth try of the season in just three games. A starting line up in the centre of James and Freddie Burgess provided strength and power, perhaps without speed and elegance, but it worked.

Ipswich YMs’ forwards got them back into the game with a series of powerful drives ending with them bundling over the line. The conversion hit the post leaving the sides within a score at 24-17. Aldeburgh had definitely been the better side but all could have been lost when YMs’ full back, easily their most talented player, made a superb break from under his posts which finally gave them a four on one situation at half way. A try under the posts looked certain but the support runners overran, the single Aldeburgh defender put in a fine tackle and by the time the ball was recycled, Aldeburgh had scrambled back. They ended the match 5 metres from their own line.

It was promising to see new players joining and making an impact, as well as some old hands putting in a surprise, cameo appearance. Scrum half, Jed Gallant, was man of the match for another fine performance.