L&Y drop into the relegation danger zone

Braintree 37 Lowestoft & Yarmouth 12

L&Y slipped into the London Two NE danger zone after conceding six tries to two away to Braintree. With a number of changes L&Y struggled to provide much cohesion on a boggy pitch and Braintree capitalised by poaching two early tries then picking off L&Y’s mistakes once they were ahead.

Donald McArthur was standing in at full-back and had a nightmare first touch after a sound L&Y start forced Braintree to kick long. Out of nothing the ball slipped from his grasp and the home right wing hacked on to score an unconverted try, which was quickly followed by a penalty after L&Y were caught offside in midfield. Again L&Y seemed in control of possession but their defence pushed wide from a line-out allowing the home scrum half to burst through the traffic and he found his winger for a second score.

L&Y then had a mountain to climb and it was to their credit they kept their discipline. They had the better of territory and possession, and won the lion’s share of the lineout with makeshift jumpers Russ Wilkinson and Kristan Taylor Crisp both showing well. A third try was conceded after the Braintree centre chipped into space, reclaimed the ball and laid it off to the left wing to score wide, and the half finished with L&Y driving a line-out 20 metres to the Braintree line but losing possession at the crucial moment. The start of the second half gave the impression L&Y were going to get back into the game. Despite choosing to run a couple of kickable penalties, some concerted pressure inside the Braintree 22 eventually worked space for Callum Cashman to bundle over in the corner. Dave Tiueti failed with the difficult conversion.

However poor concentration and even worse tackling from the kick off allowed Braintree to score immediately as their right wing bounced across the face of L&Y’s 22 and two passes found space for another score to return the lead to 20 points. After a break for a helicopter to rescue an injured player in the 2nd XV match, Braintree kicked themselves into position near the L&Y line and scored a fifth try as their flanker bundled over. Again L&Y were putting themselves in good positions with some efficient driving play but when the ball went wide a mistake pinned them back again.

Russ Chapman bundled over for a converted try after some more good work by his forwards got him near enough to the try line to bounce through a bemused defence. Once again, instead of kicking on to narrow the gap further, it was left to Braintree to have the last word with their sixth try at the death.

L&Y: Titterington, Scheijde, Greenwood, Wilkinson, Cashman, Taylor Crisp, Adams, Selby, Chapman, Nelson, Moore, Tiueti, McAlone, Beales, McArthur

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Bench: Bristo, Stephenson, Fox

Tries: Cashman, Chapman

Con: Tiueti