London 2NE: Norwich seal safety with derby victory against Holt
06:30 24 March 2014
Norwich secured their London Two North East future and complete a league double against Holt.
They just about deserved the win as well, resisting a fierce Holt comeback in the dying moments of the game with only 14 players, after hooker Matt Girling had been yellow carded five minutes before the final whistle.
Of the two sides Norwich were out of the blocks first and were rewarded with a penalty kicked by Rob Micklethwaite.
However the visitors soon bounced back and it was not long before they were ensconced in the Norwich 22 and only some determined defence kept them out.
The visitors were awarded a penalty for their efforts, which Tom Jackson had no difficulty in slotting over to level the score.
The balance of play was pretty even and remained so with both sides exchanging penalties, Norwich in the 27th minute and Holt in the 33rd.
But Norwich grabbed the lead before the break, scoring a good try after a break by fly-half Chris Parrott which was well supported and finished by Nick Austin for an 11-6 lead.
Norwich started the second half well but Holt scrum-half Bruce Van Portvliet took a penalty just inside the Norwich half quickly, made ground and found winger Jim Riley in support who went over unopposed for an opportunist try to level the score.
Norwich retook the lead in the 66th minute when Doug Greenwood forced his way over in the right-hand corner, Micklethwaite missing a difficult conversion.
Shortly afterwards Austin was carried off with an ankle injury to be replaced in the centre by Jordi Walker. Norwich then appeared to have wrapped the game up with an excellent try when the ball was moved swiftly through the backs for winger Richard Rhodes to race over for what proved to be the decisive score.
Holt came storming back and as the game went into the closing minutes put Norwich under immense pressure with a series of lineouts on the Norwich line, with Norwich not helping themselves by giving away penalties.
From one of those lineouts Holt second row Karl Rumsby went over but the conversion was missed, to leave the final score at 21-18 after a tense final few minutes.
For more photos from the game, see the gallery at the top-right of this page.