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North Walsham 18 Chelmsford 13
12:48pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in Sport
RUGBY: CHELMSFORD travelled to league leaders North Walsham last weekend and despite missing seven front line squad members from their side, mainly through injuries, the players put in a magnificent performance to rattle the home side.
The visitors were first on the scoreboard after five minutes when fly half Simon Hoult slotted over a 25m penalty from wide out after the home side were guilty of not releasing the ball in the tackle.
North Walsham then came back strongly and after a long kick down the pitch, full back Nick Hankin won the chase to ground the ball over the Chelmsford line.
Soon after the restart the home side were level when Chelmsford were penalised for holding on and full back Henry Dewing levelled the scores.
After 20 minutes North Walsham opened their try count when a slick move from their backs saw them advance to the left hand corner of the field, the ball was then recycled and from the rolling maul, hooker, Mark McCall peeled off to score a well taken try which was converted by Dewing.
Chelmsford stuck to their game plan, which was to deny North Walsham quick ball and with some sloppy handling from the home side Chelmsford came back into the game.
On the half-hour mark, Chelmsford scored a great try when flanker Oliver Wright made a break, slipping the ball to Hoult, and he in turn had support from centre Mason who finished off a well worked move to bring Chelmsford right back in the game.
The pressure in the final minutes of the half was all from Chelmsford after Hoult drilled the ball deep into the North Walsham 22m area.
The home side then gave away two penalties, but unfortunately from Chelmsford’s point of view, Hoult missed with both of his kicks, although they were not easy ones.
The second half opened with North Walsham on the attack and they increased their lead after eight minutes when Chelmsford were penalised for hands in the ruck. Full back Dewing made it 13-8.
Fly half Hoult then made some telling kicks to touch to relieve the pressure on Chelmsford, but North Walsham were now throwing caution to the wind in an effort to seal the win.
With about ten minutes remaining, a superb penalty kick to touch from Hoult travelled fully 75 metres and put Chelmsford in a strong position in the North Walsham 22.
With just minutes to go, North Walsham wing Shane van Vuuren eventually scored a try which they had been threatening, when Chelmsford just ran out of numbers on the right hand side, to increase the lead to 18-8.
Shortly after the restart, Chelmsford saw substitute Ben Brunt pick up a loose ball and win the sprint to the line to reduce the arrears to five points and give Chelmsford a vital bonus point.