London 2NE: Lowestoft & Yarmouth 32, Hampstead 24
Lowestoft and Yarmouth came away with a bonus point win in London 2NE against a good Hampstead side who had beaten them convincingly back in September.
The game started at a ferocious pace as L&Y battered away at the Hampstead defence and it wasn't long before the visitors conceded two penalties for Russ Chapman to slot after only 10 minutes of play.
The first try soon came after some great inter-play between forwards and backs set up an overlap out on the right for Callum Cashman to collect and touch down in the corner. The touchline conversion was pin point accurate from Chapman, who had a good day with the boot.
The L&Y front row of Richard Bristo, Chris Howe and Jake Titterington worked tirelessly in the scrums and help set up a great platform for the second try when fly half Scott Nelson put in an excellent cross field kick for winger James Gee to collect at pace and beat the covering defence for a great try in the corner, Chapman could not add the two from the sideline. Some slack defence from the home side let Hampstead in for their first try of the afternoon before an excellent scrum on the Hampstead five metre line that gave No 8 Marc Thomas the space to drive over, with Chapman again converting from the touchline to make it 25-5 at the break.
After completely dominating the first half, L&Y nearly hit the self deconstruct button again by letting Hampstead back into the game in the later stages of the match.
The second half started fairly brightly for the home side and after a few missed chances from some slack passes, Chris Howe managed to latch on to a pass and barge his way over the try line for Chapman to convert.
It was from this point when L&Y should have tightened the game up. But they tried to force the passes and kicks and to Hampstead's credit they exploited some weak defence out wide with some simple but very effective rugby and scored three good tries to bring them back into the game.
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The last 10 minutes saw some frantic defence from the home side as Hampstead were attacking from all areas of the park and it was down to man of the match Steve Adams to once again turn the ball over in the ruck for L&Y to clear their lines and breathe a sigh of relief.