A celebration of rugby at Gunton Park
Lowestoft & Yarmouth 41, Basildon 33: A big crowd was treated to an 11-try celebration of quality rugby, with L&Y beating their fellow promoted rivals by six tries to five.
Bolstered by a minute's silence for recently departed chairman Keith Nelson, L&Y took the game to the visitors and after letting them back into the game rallied to win.
Dave Tiueti's midfield threat led to the first score as Scott Nelson cleverly dummied the Tongan and skipped through to the posts for Tiueti to convert. L&Y continued their early dominance and Myles McAlone, Tiueti and Callum Cashman combined to free winger Daniel Boardley down the left and he finished superbly by the posts.
L&Y suffered from a wicked bounce as Basildon pulled a try back. Tiueti then grabbed a penalty from a cynical knock on but Basildon again hit back with a try close to the posts.
If the first half was entertaining then the second half was positively nerve jangling. Five minutes in, McAlone burst through and outpaced everyone to score superbly. Basildon immediately hit back before Nelson sent Tiueti through the centre where Boardley appeared on his shoulder to finish.
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Basildon then profited from poor tackling to score twice to move four points in front.
With 20 minutes left, the L&Y changes made all the difference as first Josh Fewkes shored up the wing defence and then Richard Bristo brought fresh impetus to the scrum. L&Y won a scrum on the visitors' 22 and after a couple of charges, a lovely straight run by Tiueti opened the defence for him to crash over and regain the lead.
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Lock Ryan Oakes then came on and was instrumental in killing off the game as he latched on to Nelson's pass and released Fewkes to tear down the wing and jog round to the posts for the final score of this enthralling match.