Leaders are given real fright

Romford and Gidea Park 22, Lowestoft and Yarmouth 15: Lowestoft and Yarmouth gave runaway Division 2N leaders Romford the scare of their lives.

Such was the quality of this display that the Romford coaching staff and players were declaring this their toughest match of the year.

L&Y got themselves a losing bonus point, and without doubt played some of their best rugby of the year, being far more controlled in attack and disciplined in defence.

The visitors opened the scoring when Myles McAlone tore the ball off an attacker, skipped round the defence and sprinted 80m to score a remarkable try in the corner. Russ Chapman converted from the sideline and the hosts were shocked.

Romford's inside centre was trying to bash his way up midfield but got little change out of Dave Tiueti and Steve Adams. However he caused enough distraction to give the Romford 13 an easy run in. The conversion was missed and L&Y extended their lead back to five points with a Chapman penalty.

Romford hit back with a try in the corner but L&Y kept their heads and when excellent recycling sent the ball left Brad Sutherland, with plenty of help, squeezed over in the corner for a 15-10 half-time lead.

After the break Romford were held up on the L&Y line twice before Tiueti narrowly missed with a drop goal.

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Then came the turning point of the game. Chapman had another shot at goal which drifted to the left of the posts where the Romford flanker caught the ball outside the deadball area, stepped back over the line and touched down the ball. He then realised his mistake and took off up the field, but instead of calling him back for the 5m scrum, the referee allowed play to continue. L&Y's defence were bewildered and with Thomas getting himself sinbinned in the ensuing attack the hosts eventually took advantage of their extra man to score what proved to be the winning try.

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