Aldeburgh v Clacton
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.