Beccles Rugby Club still eyeing London League safety
Beccles were cast aside by the London 2NE leaders at the weekend – but have far from given up on a late and successful survival bid.
Romford & Gidea Park ran out the winners 53-19 in London last weekend, but senior player Alan Cooper said: 'With five games to go, we remain confident on staying up.
'We're playing well when we field our strongest team, the tight-five are dominating all opposition packs in set-pieces, the back row are now starting to compete with their opposites.'
It is still conceivable that one bonus-point victory of four points would see Beccles safe on 14 points and in 10th spot on points differential.
The recent draw between Canvey Island and Old Streetonians was the perfect result for Bulls – who travel to Chelmsford tomorrow. There are few favours for Canvey or Streetonians in their final clutch of games this season, while Beccles own hopes are likely to rest with the visit from Old Streetonians at the end of the month.
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On Saturday, Beccles took an inexperienced team down to face Romford in a re-arranged fixture and the young side performed well to avoid what could have been an even bigger defeat.
In particular, the backs were made up of the club's young talent. Harmer made his first league start at fly-half with Wade and Duruk in the centres and Long at full-back. On the wings Veasey-Lark partnered Hoffman, who was playing his last game before going on his travels. Porter was captain for the day with Lake unavailable.
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Beccles started well, taking the game to the opposition. However, it was Romford who opened the scoring when the pounced on a loose Beccles pass to breakaway. Four more tries followed in the first half as Romford started to play some good rugby.
However, the young Bulls deserve credit for picking themselves up and putting in a much better second half performance – opening the scoring as a good take at lineout by Wilson was fed off the top and wide, Long finding space to go over in the corner. Wade added an excellent conversion.
Hoffman also went over before Romford came back with a couple of tries, but East Suffolk Association for the Blind man of the match Harmer put a kick through for Duruk to sprint away and score in the corner.
Beccles pushed for the try scoring bonus point their efforts deserved but could not come up with the fourth try and the match ended 53-19.
However, the Bulls' second half performance was as good as a bonus point. Beccles had the best points difference of the bottom three going in to the game but at half-time they were looking at a 70 or 80-point loss.
The comeback means they still have the best points difference, which could be as good as another point as the relegation battle plays out.