Lowly Beccles pushed second-placed Basildon all the way before slipping to a narrow defeat.

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The Bulls pack started well, with the backrow combination of Rix, Starks and Holmes again stepping up and matching the opposition.

Backed up by direct running from centres Wade and Long the pressure eventually led to a centre park infringement by Basildon. Wade stepped up and duly slotted the opening points of the game.

Basildon then dominated both possession and territory. The Bulls’ defence withheld repeated attacks, with notable defensive efforts coming from backs Harmer, Davey-Durak and Vasey-Lark. But the visitors remained patient and were finally rewarded with a well taken forwards’ try out wide.

With scrum half Izuzquiza showing his class the Bulls hit back but could not covert their dominance into points.

In the second half man of the match Reece Ling delivered a well timed ball to powerhouse substitute Danny Rix who came up just short of the line. Basildon finished the stronger, hitting the Bulls with wave after wave of attack, but the hosts held firm to secure a well deserved bonus point.

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