L&Y lose grip in the second half

Lowestoft & Yarmouth 21 Chelmsford 25

If L&Y continue to play this well then not only will they secure their position in London 2NE but make every team dread visiting Gunton Park. However, they should never have let a totally dominant 21-6 half time lead slip, even against a Chelmsford team riding high in third place. Now that the five league points penalty for the debacle at Stevenage earlier in the year have been deducted, this result leaves L&Y scrapping away third from bottom in the league instead of what could have been four places higher.

Four minutes in, Dave Tiueti missed a penalty after Chelmsford were caught not releasing at the tackle. A couple of minutes later, with Scott Nelson pulling the strings, and Tiueti, Steve Adams and Chris Howe all noticeable, some good support and offloading took play from halfway into the Chelmsford 22 and opened a hole for Marc Thomas to canter through and over near the posts so Tiueti could convert. The ex-Tongan international added a penalty on the quarter hour which was immediately matched by one from Chelmsford before more great phase play caught the Chelmsford backs offside and Tiueti pulled L&Y ahead again.

Young winger Stuart Moore made it to the corner flag but stumbled in a great tap tackle and lost the ball over the line, but despite the obvious danger the visitors could pose, L&Y were winning all the collisions and ruling the breakdown. Chelmsford bagged another long-range penalty which was again matched by Tiueti after Adams won a superb turnover and forced the penalty. On the stroke of the break, L&Y’s pressure told when Nelson kicked for the corner and Thomas was rumbled over for his second score, this time unconverted.

L&Y discussed the danger of relaxing at halftime, but the visitors upped their game sufficiently to give themselves enough ball to start probing L&Y’s defence. With a bit more forward momentum Chelmsford started to get the breakdown decisions that punished them in the first half and L&Y struggled to get any meaningful possession to their midfield.

On 50 minutes the Chelmsford no 8 bundled over in the corner to make the score 21-11, and this was the time that another L&Y score would have broken the resistance and won the game. However, 10 minutes later with Chelmsford pressuring on the L&Y 22 a foot in touch wasn’t called. They quickly recycled midfield where the two visiting props found a huge hole left open to the posts. The final 20 minutes was frantic stuff with only three points separating the teams. Russ Chapman broke right at one point but skewed his chip over the last defender into touch rather than the dead ball area for a certain score. Rather than punt the ball deep into the visitors’ half, L&Y tried to run out of defence and found themselves pinned back on their line. After a string of penalties, Thomas took one for the team and found himself side-lined and Chelmsford took full advantage by catching and driving a line-out over in the corner. A superb touchline conversion just added a piece of icing on to their cake.

Team: Bristo, Selby, Howe, Wilkinson, Cashman, Powles, Adams, Thomas, Chapman, Nelson, Fox, Tiueti, Fewkes, Moore, Sutherland

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Bench: Howell, Stephenson, McArthur

Tries: Thomas 2

Pens: Tiueti 3

Cons: Tiueti