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Chelmsford 29 Norwich 11
12:10pm Friday 18th October 2013 in Local Sport
RUGBY: Chelmsford made it three wins on the trot, but they had to work hard for their victory over determined opponents.
Norwich were first on the scoreboard after four minutes when Chelmsford fell foul of the referee in the initial stages and were caught offside, Norwich kicking the penalty to go into a 3-0 lead.
Chelmsford responded straight away when Norwich were also penalised and Simon Hoult levelled the scores at 3-3.
The early pressure was to come from the visitors and they put together some good passages of play, with their speedy backs being prominent. As with Chelmsford though, the final pass seemed to go astray or the ball was dropped.
After 20 minutes of play Norwich took the lead when a dropped pass was seized upon and the visitors scored an unconverted try to take them into an 8-3 lead.
Chelmsford’s first clear-cut scoring opportunity came after 27 minutes, when left wing Seb Hill broke through the Norwich defence and slipped the ball to centre, Andrew Triggs, only for him to be held up short of the line.
Minutes later the visitors were reduced to 14 men when Norwich’s tight head prop was sent to the sin bin.
Following the penalty to touch and from the ensuing line out a catch and drive saw skipper Paul Redford go over for a well taken try, which was converted by Hoult.
Just before half time, Chelmsford were then reduced to 14 men when flanker Ed Williams was also sin binned for alleged stamping.
A scoreline of 10-8 at half time in favour of the hosts was perhaps a little flattering, but Chelmsford did step up the tempo in the second half and produced the football that the coaching staff and spectators know they are capable of.
Jamie Hines replaced Jack Venn in the back row and this seemed to give the pack a bit more dynamism.
Hines made a telling break down the middle of the field and the ball was passed to fly half Rhys Mason, who put in a lovely cross kick, for full back Simon Hoult to be on hand and score in the corner and convert his own try to make the score 17-8.
From the restart, Chelmsford were penalised and Norwich reduced the arrears to 17-11. Just minutes later Hoult once again forced his way over in the corner to score a well taken try and again converted this to take the score to 24-11.
It was all Chelmsford now and minutes later, Seb Hill made a break, the ball was recycled through the phases and eventually wing Guthrie Holiday managed to wriggle his way over in the corner to seal the win for Chelmsford.
This coming weekend sees Chelmsford play at home against Old Priorians in the Intermediate Cup.
The visitors seem to be one of the in-form teams at this level, so Chelmsford will know that they have to be on top of their game, should they wish to progress into the next round. Kick off is at 3pm at Coronation Park.
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