L&Y woe as Basildon twist the knife
BASILDON 17, LOWESTOFT & YARMOUTH 10: L&Y's superb season came to an end after they finally succumbed in the RFU Senior Vase London and South East semi-final to the Basildon team that pipped them to the league title the previous weekend.
In an unforgiving and bruising encounter both teams battered each other with everything they had, but ultimately L&Y paid the price for some shoddy defence in the first couple of minutes and some disruptive injuries. Basildon now face Teddington in the next round and are only two games from Twickenham.
L&Y started well but a fumble in midfield conceded possession and some indecisive defence allowed Basildon to work up to the visitors' line, before the fly-half got through under the posts for a converted score.
The nervous beginning continued before L&Y finally began to settle. Scott Nelson and Josh Fewkes worked some space for Myles McAlone to make ground but he ignored the glaring overlap and was injured in the resulting tackle.
Tom Dare came on at full-back and Brad Sutherland moved up into centre. An accurate kick by Nelson earned a line-out near the Basildon line which the home side won but L&Y forced the turnover and great hands from Marc Thomas, Daniel Boardley, Chris Howe and Sutherland made the space for Ryan Oakes to plunge over in the corner, from where Russ Chapman pushed the conversion wide.
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Basildon hit an upright with a penalty attempt but some huge clearances by Nelson and L&Y's superior scrum pegged them back.
The second half started with a flashing break from scrum-half Chapman but again he was hauled down short.
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Basildon worked position near L&Y's line on the left, and a breakdown led to a harsh sinbinning for influential hooker Howe. Basildon wisely opted for the scrum against a depleted pack and their giant No 8 bundled over from the base for a second converted score.
Howe came back to reinforce the besieged visitors and from a line-out Titterington managed to drive over the line. Chapman missed the conversion but L&Y were back in the match.
Basildon then stretched the lead with a penalty in front of the posts.
As L&Y threatened the line in a frantic finale, three penalties were awarded and each time L&Y took the scrum, but they were unable to force another score.
L&Y: Bristo, Howe, Titterington, Wilkinson (Cashman), Oakes, Powles (Adams), Taylor Crisp, Thomas (c), Chapman, Nelson, Palmer, Fewkes (Newton), McAlone (Dare), Boardley, Sutherland.