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Basildon 20, Low and Yar 20

PUBLISHED: 00:08 08 March 2011

If this top of table Division 3NE clash had been a boxing match then Lowestoft and Yarmouth would have won on points. As it was Basildon managed a share of the spoils after scoring a late converted try.

While the match lived up to its billing in terms of excitement the wet and boggy conditions led to some poor handling and elementary mistakes from both sides.

L&Y’s playmaker Scott Nelson was again absent through injury and the experienced Matt Jary came in at stand off. Jary did all that was asked of him in a rare appearance and in defence he was as solid as a rock.

Skipper Marc Thomas once again gave a man of the match performance as he led the side from No 8, Kristen Taylor Crisp was at the heart of all good things at the breakdown while the travelling supporters also deserve a mention for their superb backing.

The first 10 minutes saw each side sizing up the other and looking for gaps in the defences but it was the visitors who took the lead with a well struck Russ Chapman penalty. Basildon soon replied with a penalty of their own as Richard Bristo was unluckily pulled up for failing to move away from a collapsed maul.

This score inspired Basildon to play some open rugby and after a few forays into the visitors’ half they eventually scored in the right hand corner to make it 8-3.

Chapman was then unfortunate not to get his side to within two points as he hit the upright from a penalty attempt.

With the L&Y pack more than holding their own in the set scrums and the line-outs being controlled by Ryan Oakes, Steve Powles and Thomas they soon managed to level the scores as Jake Titterington collected a loose ball some 10 yards out and crashed over in the corner.

Just before half-time Basildon once again scored in the right hand corner to take a five point lead into the break at 13-8.

With the wind at their backs and playing down the slope it was not long before L&Y took the lead. Thomas took the ball at the front of the line-out and the pack gathered and drove from the 22 metre line for Thomas to touch down as they crossed the line. Chapman converted to give the visitors the lead.

L&Y then increased their advantage to seven points when, following a scrum 10 yards out, a well worked move saw Thomas crash over for his second try.

It looked as if L&Y would take a deserved win away from the side just below them in the table but in the dying minutes the hosts again scored in the right hand corner following some slack defence. This time their kicker managed to slot the ball over to tie the match at 20-20.

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