L&Y chase Vase

PUBLISHED: 12:04 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:56 03 July 2010

Stowmarket 5, Lowestoft & Yarmouth 46

L&Y banished the ghosts of last season's league defeat at Stowmarket and, with Wisbech losing at Newmarket, extended their unbeaten lead at the top of EC1.

Stowmarket 5, Lowestoft & Yarmouth 46

L&Y banished the ghosts of last season's league defeat at Stowmarket and, with Wisbech losing at Newmarket, extended their unbeaten lead at the top of EC1.

They now have a four-point lead, but face both Newmarket and Wisbech away in the coming weeks. With league reshuffles quite possible again this year, the top spot is the only guarantee for L&Y to escape into the London Divisions, and with a vastly superior points difference, they now have a bit a breathing space.

Relaxation is far from their minds, because tomorrow they face Wisbech away in the last 16 of the EDF National Junior Vase, and the Fenlanders have promised no favours. Wisbech expect over 500 spectators and they realise the importance of the cup result for a chance to play at Twickenham, their club's publicity, and the psychological edge it will give them for the repeat encounter in the league later in the month.

Likewise, the L&Y management are well aware of what a pivotal game this is, and know their unbeaten record so far this season will count for nothing if they don't dig out their very best performance of the year.

Thankfully, L&Y confidence is high. Stowmarket were one of the league favourites at the start of the season and proved to be stubborn opponents in freezing conditions, but L&Y's power game saw them comfortably control the match and rack up another seven tries, five converted by scrum half Russ Chapman.

Shaun Woodhouse barrelled over from close range early on. Scott Nelson scored from a move down the blindside of a scrum, before open play saw Woodhouse dive over for his second. No 8 Marc Thomas scored his 21st try of the season with a trademark charge from the base of a scrum, and Chapman added a penalty for L&Y to reach half-time 29 unanswered points up.

Stowmarket scored first after the break but crucially they lost their centre to the sinbin to drown hopes of a fight-back.

Myles McAlone scored his fourth try in two games to get L&Y back on track, before Thomas added his second and finally Chris Howe popped up in support to lunge over for the final score.

There is a players coach leaving Gunton Park for Wisbech at 9.45am tomorrow. Spectators are welcome to either make their own way or call the club on 01502 730350 for the latest arrangements.

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