L&Y close to a century of points

Lowestoft & Yarmouth 88, Mersea Island 5

Section leaders L&Y have been threatening to amass a hatful of points for some time now, and it was to be the London 3NE bottom club Mersea Islandb on the receiving end.

In conditions made for running rugby the home side showed the crowd some sublime handling moments and more than enough glimpses of the power that the pack can produce.

Mersea must be complimented on keeping their heads up, their full-back in particular always looked dangerous in loose play and took the game to L&Y at every opportunity.

It would be unfair to pick a man-of-the-match as this was true 18-man rugby, but Dave Palmer put in his best performance since being drafted into the first team wing slot.

The scoring opened when Russ Chapman took a quick free-kick and fed to Chris Howe, who crashed through the defence. Chapman put over the first of his nine conversions.

Next on the sheet was skipper Marc Thomas who touched down after a driving maul was set up following Ryan Oakes taking clean line-out ball.

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Jake Titterington was next to score when Chapman gave a speedy pass to Matt Jary who in turn passed back inside to Titterington. And from 30 yards out he carried the ball over, leaving would-be defenders in his wake.

There followed some supreme handling from the three-quarters involving Jary and Myles McAlone before bringing in young Tom Dare, who ran in to score.

From a Thomas-won line-out five metres out the pack again drove over and Oakes was at the back to touch down. Just before half-time a loose kick from Mersea was gathered by the waiting Josh Fewkes and he took it forward and shovelled it out to Thomas, who ran in from 15 yards.

At the start of the second half Steve Adams came into the back row to replace Steve Powles, and Graeme Newton came on for Richard Bristo at prop. Both were soon into the game and the changes appeared to be seamless.

Palmer then set up the next try when, after a 30-yard run, he sent Chapman away. He drew his man and fed to Daniel Boardley who ran in under the posts.

Again some wonderful handling started by Russ Wilkinson and including Palmer, Chapman and Jary led to the ball finding Kristen Taylor-Crisp, who scored.

McAlone instigated the next score as he went on a 35-yard run and passed to Thomas, who sent Adams in for an excellent try.

Titterington then got his second as Thomas and Adams combined at the back of their scrum to set him up to score under the posts.

Donald McArthur was introduced to the back line as he replaced Jary. Dare was moved to stand-off and Boardley went to full-back. Mersea then got on the scoresheet as the full-back carved through the L&Y defence to score in the left corner.

Fewkes was next to score as Titterington broke free and set off dare who in turn gave the ball to his inside-centre who cantered in.

Howe got his second when again slick handling from the backs set the hooker up to score under the posts.

Taylor-Crisp got his second before, fittingly, skipper Thomas completed his hat-trick after Fewkes and Dare had combined to send him in from 35 yards.

Team: Titterington, Howe, Bristo (Newton), Wilkinson, Oakes, Powles (Adams), Crisp, Thomas, Chapman, Jary (McArthur), Fewkes, McAlone, Palmer, Boardley, Dare.