L&Y stay top in style
Lowestoft & Yarmouth 64, Thetford 3L&Y kept their two-point advantage at the top of EC1 and managed to handsomely extend their score difference in a one-sided affair at Gunton Park.
Lowestoft & Yarmouth 64, Thetford 3
L&Y kept their two-point advantage at the top of EC1 and managed to handsomely extend their score difference in a one-sided affair at Gunton Park.
Thetford's lack of structure and shape enabled L&Y to create and take advantage of space almost at will, allowing Russ Chapman to notch up 19 points through seven conversions and a try, and man of the match Myles McAlone racing in for three excellent scores.
But for several handling mistakes and wrong decisions out wide, along with some generous refereeing, L&Y could easily have bagged another six tries.
Young Tom Castleton came on to the wing in place of Daniel Boardley and scored with his first touch as L&Y spun the ball wide on a 60-metre move, Chapman, Scott Nelson, Kris Nelson, McAlone and Brad Sutherland setting up Castleton for a 40m run to the posts.
A Castleton chip then set up the second score as Sutherland and flanker Lewis Davey set Chapman speeding through a grasping defence. Marc Thomas scored his almost mandatory try from the base of a 5m scrum, then Scott Nelson barged through at the second attempt from a move down the right blind side of a scrum. McAlone finished the half with an exquisite midfield break before using pace and strength to crash over.
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Almost from the second half restart, McAlone ran hard onto a long Scott Nelson pass wide to the right, shrugged off a tackler then outpaced the defence for a 60m try. He soon completed his hat-trick by outpacing the cover defence to the left.
The new-look front row of Graeme Newton, Chris Howe and Shaun Woodhouse were causing havoc in the scrummage as well as the loose, and their hoisting of lock Tim Fenn and No 8 Thomas in the lineout also took the majority of ball from the sidelines. What ball Thetford salvaged was then being snaffled by a greedy defence in which flankers Ben McElroy and Davey were prominent.
The try of the match went to Howe as he took a sublime delayed pass from McAlone to run unopposed under the sticks following two stunning plays that swept 70m upfield right then left through virtually every pair of hands.
Kris Nelson finished off the game with a brace of tries, both made by fast ball from his forwards and quick hands from brother Scott.
This weekend L&Y face a tough task at Stowmarket, who were the last to beat them in any competition in the corresponding fixture last season.
It is essential they get through unscathed to keep the pressure on nearest rivals Wisbech.