L&Y edge game of cut and thrust

Lowestoft and Yarmouth 32, South Woodham Ferrers 29L&Y held out for the points to maintain their fifth position in the league among the leading contenders.

Lowestoft and Yarmouth 32, South Woodham Ferrers 29

L&Y held out for the points to maintain their fifth position in the league among the leading contenders.

With nine tries and several changes in the lead, the game was cut and thrust throughout.

A lovely angled run from Myles McAlone sliced the midfield open and from the resulting breakdown infringement, Scott Nelson knocked over a penalty for a 3-0 L&Y lead.

Kristan Taylor-Crisp, drafted from the wing to a new role on the flank, was relishing the physical contact with some fine tackling and spoiling.

Ferrers went ahead midway through the half. L&Y came back with a powerful forward rumble towards the Ferrer 22 spearheaded by props Wayne Nixon and Jake Titterington. A well-timed release of quick ball to fly half Nelson allowed him to hit McAlone, scorching back on another superb angle, to burst over the line.

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Nelson converted only for the Ferrers to reply straight away with a fine converted try under the posts.

L&Y captain Marc Thomas forced a penalty which Nelson pushed wide. They forced a line-out on the visitors' 22m line. Simon Coleman soared high to claim the ball and set up a driving maul which was skilfully taken over the line for veteran lock Russ Wilkinson to touch down. With Sutherland missing the conversion L&Y were briefly back into a three-point lead, which Ferrers promptly cancelled on the stroke of half-time by converting a penalty.

The drama continued into the second half. By now L&Y realised Ferrers had no answer to their forward dominance, so Coleman claimed a line-out once more and this time the drive over the line was finished by captain Thomas. Knowing not to allow the dangerous Ferrers open-field runners to show their pace, the L&Y forwards continued to control the ball at every opportunity.

However, good pressure defence from Ferrers forced loss of possession and a three-man overlap ended with another score under the posts and a conversion.

Excellent L&Y forward drives down the middle of the field and speedy delivery from replacement scrum half Tom Castleton opened up space for Taylor-Crisp to cut through midfield for a try, converted by Sutherland, to resume the five-point lead.

This was soon extended to 10 points after Howe touched down the third L&Y try directly from a line-out drive.

With the game in injury time and light fading fast, Ferrers manufactured a score in the right corner and a superb conversion put them just three behind.

For a further five frantic nerve-wracking minutes the visitors tried everything to break through.

Team: Nixon, Bristo, Titterington, Coleman, Wilkinson, Howe (McElroy), Taylor-Crisp, Thomas (C), Fewkes (Castleton), Nelson, Boardley, Adams, McAlone, Howell, Sutherland. Not used: Murkett.