Beccles win at Hadleigh to clinch promotion with one game to spare

Beccles RFC, champions of the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One Shield, enjoy the moment at Hadle

Beccles RFC, champions of the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One Shield, enjoy the moment at Hadleigh Picture: KEITH JOHNSTONE - Credit: Archant

Beccles secured the league title and promotion with a hard-fought 24-7 victory at second placed Hadleigh.

Beccles were able to travel with a strong squad and knew that avoiding defeat would secure top spot in the Eastern Counties Shield with a game to spare.

In the early stages both defences were on top, with neither side able to break through and it was 20 minutes before Beccles were able to open the scoring. They eventually found some space around the outside of the Hadleigh defence and a good run and pass by Holtzer found Barrett who finished well. Kauri added the conversion.

Beccles added the next try to open up a gap. A Beccles break was stopped inside the Hadleigh 22 and Kauri spotted there was nobody covering the short side and strolled over untouched for the try. He added a difficult conversion from the touchline.

Hadleigh battled back in to the game and put Beccles on the back foot. The visitors conceded a number of penalties as the half-time mark was reached and Hadleigh went over for a converted try in first half stoppage time.

Beccles stretched their lead with a penalty early in the second half. They upped their line speed in defence and Hadleigh couldn’t find their way through the green wall and were regularly driven back.

As the game moved in to the last 10 minutes Beccles secured the win with another try. Hannam found a gap in the Hadleigh line and fed Kauri in support who went over for his second try. He added the conversion.

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There were still five minutes to see out which Beccles did before the celebrations started.

Beccles have one more league game left when they travel to Colchester on Saturday. They then take on Southwold in the Pony Moore Cup on April 27.

In cool, wet conditions Beccles Under-14s travelled to Newmarket RFC for a friendly fixture and came away with 50-12 victory.

Beccles started strongly, scoring three early tries. The home team bounced back with two well-worked team tries, but it was the green machine that picked up the pace in second half, running in six more tries to close the game out.

This week the team travels to Colchester to complete in an Eastern Counties U14s Festival.