L&Y draw in top-table clash

Basildon 20, Lowestoft & Yarmouth 20

IF this top-of-table league clash had been a boxing match then L&Y would have won on points. As it was Basildon managed a share of the points with a hard-earned draw.

Whilst the match lived up to its billing in excitement, the wet and boggy conditions made for some poor handling and elementary mistakes from both sides.

L&Y’s playmaker Scott Nelson was again absent through injury and the very experienced, but lacking in match time, Matt Jary came in at stand off.

Jary did all that was asked of him and, particularly in defence, he was solid as a rock.

L&Y skipper Marc Thomas once again gave a man-of-the-match performance as he led the side from number eight.

A mention also to Kristen Taylor Crisp who started on the flank and was at the heart of all good things at the breakdown.

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The first 10 minutes saw each side sizing up the other and looking for gaps in the defences but it was the visitors that took the lead with a well-struck Russ Chapman penalty from 30 yards.

Basildon soon replied with a penalty of their own as Richard Bristo was unluckily pulled up for failing to move away from a collapsed maul.

This score inspired Basildon to play some open rugby and after a few forays into the visitors’ half they eventually scored in the right hand corner, 8-3.

Chapman was unfortunate not to get within two points as he hit the upright from a penalty attempt.

With the L&Y pack more than holding their own in the set scrums and the line-outs being controlled by Ryan Oakes, Steve Powles and Thomas they soon managed to level the score as Jake Titterington collected a loose ball some 10 yards out and crashed over in the corner, 8-8

Just before half-time Basildon once again scored in the right hand corner to take a five point lead into the break, 13-8.

With the wind at their backs, and playing down the slope, it was not long before L&Y took the lead. Thomas took the ball at the front of the lineout and the pack gathered and drove from the 22 metre line for Thomas to touch down as they crossed the line. Chapman converted, 13-15. Myles McAlone made a couple of mazey trademark runs only to be pulled up just short.

L&Y increased their lead when following a scrum, 10 yards out a well worked move saw Thomas crash over for his second try, 13-20.

It looked as if L&Y would take a deserved win away from Basildon but in the dying minutes the home side again scored in the right hand corner following some slack defence from L&Y. This time their kicker managed to slot the ball over to tie the match, 20-20.

A huge thank you for the large travelling support that made the trip to Essex.

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