SUFFOLK CHADACRE CUP
Halstead Templars 19
Backs coach Ed Merry is looking forward to gauging how far Halstead Templars have come after they won a war of attrition against Haverhill to set up a home semi-final against Mersea Island on February 24.
In a game dominated by defence at higher-league Haverhill on Saturday, there were few chances for points, but Halstead edged the contest via first-half tries from Sam Edwards, Craig Tevain and Sam Forrest.
“It was hard work,” said Merry, who also plays himself. “The tackling of our guys and theirs was really solid.
“We always knew with our attack though, we would be okay and it would be if we could get our defence right, which was how it turned out.”
Having beaten Mildenhall in the Suffolk Plate final (55-5) in November to qualify for the county’s prize competition, the Chadacre Cup, it will be the first time Halstead have had a shot at winning it.
And their semi-final opponents, Mersea Island, provide an interesting match-up.
“We played Mersea last season in the Plate final and they walloped us 86-0,” explained Merry.
“They really taught us a lesson in where we needed to develop.
“What I am really looking forward to in this semi-final is measuring how far we have come.
“A win would be fantastic but if the scoreline is respectable we will be pleased with that.”
On Saturday, against a Haverhill side who had not won all season, it was a huge hit from Jordan Samuel on his opposite man that knocked the ball loose to provide the catalyst for the first try, with centre Edwards pouncing on the ball and scampering away for a great individual score which he duly converted.
The second, within 10 minutes of the interval, saw Liam Surgett set up winger Forrest to speed clear, with Edwards adding the extras.
From a scrum close to the Haverhill line Surgett found Edwards going blind but the centre needed the support of prop Trevain to burst over the line.
From out wide, the conversion was unsuccessful.
Haverhill, who had two tries disallowed, scored a consolation try with 15 minutes to go, following a wayward clearance kick.