Ipswich YM Hawks v Aldeburgh
11th December – at Ipswich YM
Result: Ipswich YM Hawks 12 Aldeburgh 10
Positive Signs in a Frustrating Match
Visiting Ipswich YM for our third fixture against them in seven weeks with the previous honours shared was an encounter to be relished. It proved to be another close game against tough opponents which YM edged by the smallest margin.
Aldeburgh’s success this season in encouraging former players to return and in attracting new players was borne out by being able to field a strong team with several subs ready on the touchline. Despite some evident rustiness of returners, Aldeburgh started strongly with all the play happening in the YM half. It only took 10 minutes for the pressure to pay off with the forwards powering over for a try scored by (who else?) Freddie Burgess, the season’s top try scorer. Unfortunately, Ed Robson was not able to convert.
As an aside, all credit to the willingness of the players to play wherever the team needs them. A couple of weeks ago, Freddie and James Ledger were the centre partnership. On Saturday they played second row and prop respectively.
Aldeburgh remained strong in the scrum. The line outs were a little messy, but YM stayed in the game through their strength at the breakdown. Nevertheless, it took nearly half an hour for them to get into Aldeburgh’s 22. Sadly, after a sharp move at the front of the line out, Aldeburgh switched off, allowing a huge gap to open up for a YM forward to run through unopposed and score.
Within a few minutes, Aldeburgh put together the move of the match with the ball being switched between backs and forwards until Ed Robson (fly half) came round on the loop to take the final pass and score near the touchline. Again he was unable to convert from a difficult position.
Half time saw Aldeburgh leading 10-5, having dominated the territory and put together the best moves.
It looked as though it would get even better in the second half with the backs moving the ball sweetly from their own 22 to YM’s. There were only stopped by tremendous covering tackles by YM.
The dark cloud on the horizon was the number of penalties Aldeburgh were conceding at the breakdown. It prevented them from establishing any sort of rhythm or dominance. After 20 minutes of the second half, the referee had had enough and sent Ed Robson to the bin for not releasing. Astonishingly, he then did the same to James Ledger a minute later reducing Aldeburgh to thirteen players. The penalty awarded against James was only a few metres from the line which enabled YM to rumble over. The try was crucially converted giving YM a 12-10 lead which they held for the rest of the game.
To Aldeburgh’s great credit, they did not concede any more points while at a two man disadvantage, nor did they look like doing so. Once their players were back on there was a hope that there was time to get on top again but the game had become a stalemate. YM received their own yellow card but even then Aldeburgh could not get on top. It all started to get a little tetchy towards the end as Aldeburgh got frustrated with the penalty count.
So a frustrating end to the afternoon. Nevertheless, we saw a great contest, promising signs of talent and teamwork from the Aldeburgh squad and some good rugby. Mention should be made of Stephen Anker who had another fine game at full back, safely catching a series of high balls, running strongly and linking effectively with the other three quarters. Ollie Pick also made some powerful runs in the centre.
We have had three good games against YM this Autumn, all close, hard-fought and thoroughly enjoyed afterwards.
It was good to see some VPs supporting the team from the touchline. Thanks to those who came.