Halstead extend their lead at the top

HOLDING ON: Match action from Halstead Templars versus Sudbury II
HOLDING ON: Match action from Halstead Templars versus Sudbury II

EASTERN COUNTIES

GREENE KING LEAGUE

DIVISION TWO SOUTH

Sudbury Tigers 7

Halstead Templars 43

Halstead Templars finished off 2017 with seven more tries and a league double over local rivals Sudbury III.

This win sees the Essex side move into the Christmas break 13 points clear at the top of Eastern Counties Division Two, from second place Colchester who were beaten in a close-run game by the improving Felixstowe.

The visitors made the best of a scrappy start against the second-from-bottom Tigers, with Matt Harwood opening the scoring and Brett Ballard converting.

With Halstead’s forwards getting on top, they drove the ball up the pitch for Callum Smith to smash through the Sudbury defensive wall for 12-0.

Ballard was next to touch down, after Tom Amass offloaded from Jack Pawsey’s pinpoint kick.

Sudbury managed to cross their opponent’s line in the dying seconds of the first half to reduce the deficit to 24-7.

Good solid rucking got the ball to Sam Forrest after play resumed and he skipped round his defenders before dotting down to extend Halstead’s lead.

A delayed pass from a scrum caught Sudbury out and fly-half Pawsey darted over for a 27-point lead, which Ballard quickly made 29.

The final lineout of the game was whipped out to Pawsey and with the defence streaming over to cover Halstead’s left wing, he found Forrest coming late from the right side to scythe through the wrong-footed forwards and sprint away to the line for the final score of the game. Ballard converted to leave the final score 43-7 in the Essex side’s favour.

The Templars have three weeks off before a friendly match away at Felixstowe on January 6 and the return of league action away at bottom side Bury St Edmunds IV on January 13, while the Tigers are at home to Thurston II.