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Ipswich 3 v Aldeburgh

17th February – Ipswich

Result: Ipswich 0 Aldeburgh 114

A totally one-sided affair

Members of the Ipswich committee described their 3rd XV as a ‘social’ team. Before the kick off, they appeared to have more than the requisite number of props on the pitch. On the other hand, Aldeburgh are now able to field a squad of capable, highly competitive players. When the social met the competitive, there was no doubt about the result from the kick off.

Hooker Elliott Clarke-Gifford collected the kick well, charged at the opposition, linked with centres Ben Watts and Callum Goodwin who was dragged down just short of the line.

Aldeburgh gave away a couple of penalties, a continuing problem through the first half, before Clarke-Gifford picked up from a turned over ruck to start a mesmerising series of passes down the blind side, bringing the winger, Fred Precious, into play before new flanker, David Rix, touched down with his second touch in an Aldeburgh shirt. He is a useful acquisition.

After only six minutes, the pattern of the game became clear when Toby Mann, playing at No 8 this week, picked up from the base of a scrum on the 22 and simply ran straight through the Ipswich defence to score under the posts. Ed Robson kicked the first of twelve conversions.

The combination of powerful running from the forwards and devastating speed and passing in the backs tore Ipswich apart from beginning to the early end. Ipswich had a big pack but the set scrums were even – apart from the one which Ipswich won only to kick the ball back through to the Aldeburgh side where Toby picked up and scored another directly from the scrum. The line outs were a bit messy with Aldeburgh taking plenty of ball.

The third try was scored by Fred Precious having been put through by a lovely pass from full back Ramsey Bourke who himself got the seventh try when he outpaced the cover defence after a series of forward drives.

Ipswich could not deal with the speed of Aldeburgh’s defence so that when they got the ball but dropped it in the backs, Aldeburgh retrieved it, recycled it a couple of times and put Callum Goodwin over for the first of his three tries.

On 23 minutes, Toby Mann ran from the half way line straight through the middle of the Ipswich defence to score. It was 31-0. Aldeburgh appeared to be scoring at will. Ipswich heads were already dropping. Before the end of the half, Elliot Clarke-Gifford emulated Toby from even further away from the Ipswich try line but with the same result.

The backs were fully involved. A couple of long passes gave space to winger Adam Hateley to cross the line. After another smooth back move, the ball was recycled to the second row who passed to each other to create yet another try. 57-0 at half time.

The second half carried on in the same vein with tries by both centres. Adam Hateley made a tremendous run having fielded a deep kick. From the ruck, Peter Mann, prop, made a break, his brother Toby ran an excellent line to take the pass and break right through over the Ipswich line where he paused to pass the ball back to Peter to score. Sweet.

Peter got another try at the end of some excellent forward interpassing. The centres each scored again as did the other member of the second row, Dean Wilkins. The depths were reached by Ipswich when their fly half dropped a pass and stood there while Aldeburgh players picked it up, playing to the whistle, and eventually Fred Precious (playing at scrum half in the second period) danced his way around the defence to score.

Aldeburgh were keen to build up their points in case points difference was a deciding factor at the end of the season but all agreed to end the uneven contest after 30 minutes of the second half.

The result leaves Aldeburgh second in the table with three games in hand on Braintree 2. Halstead Templars are third. They are the teams who were relegated last season. We have to play both before the end of the season in what could be crucial matches.


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