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L&Y claim points in a classic

PUBLISHED: 11:34 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:52 06 July 2010

Lowestoft and Yarmouth 36, Wisbech 21

IN their five encounters in the past 12 months, these two sides have never failed to produce a compelling match and this one was no different, even though Lowestoft and Yarmouth dominated almost every aspect of play, the plucky Fenlanders tackled liked demons and fashioned three excellent converted tries to take the contest right down to the final minutes.

Lowestoft and Yarmouth 36, Wisbech 21

IN their five encounters in the past 12 months, these two sides have never failed to produce a compelling match and this one was no different, even though Lowestoft and Yarmouth dominated almost every aspect of play, the plucky Fenlanders tackled liked demons and fashioned three excellent converted tries to take the contest right down to the final minutes. Lowestoft and Yarmouth had what seemed like 90 percent of the possession throughout the game and battered away at the Wisbech defence all afternoon, playing like a different team to last week's shadows who lost at West Norfolk. They scored six well worked tries but could have had a hatful more if only they were more clinical with the ball, and the Wisbech defence had been less courageous.

The game started evenly with only a Matt Howell break down the wing and a powerful charge from man of the match prop Jake Titterington worth mentioning. A bout of aerial ping-pong was won by Lowestoft and Yarmouth when fullback Brad Sutherland kicked to find space in the Wisbech 22. Their fullback was caught early and dispossessed on the left before superb handling from centres Myles McAlone and Steve Adams allowed captain Marc Thomas to put Howell over in the right hand corner. Wisbech worked their way back into Lowestoft and Yarmouth territory but a wonderful 60m break by McAlone from Scott Nelson's long pass set up the position from where, several drives later, scrumhalf Chez Bloxham touched down at the back of a pushover scrum.

Lowestoft and Yarmouth were playing all the rugby, and another long break out of their 22 started by prop Wayne Nixon and almost finished by Howell underlined their superiority. Wisbech has other ideas though when they started to find weakness on the Lowestoft and Yarmouth flanks and began to spread the ball wide. With two minutes to the break, on almost their only drive into the Lowestoft and Yarmouth 22, the ball spun left then recycled back to the right for the fullback the cut back and through to the posts. After all the hard work Lowestoft and Yarmouth reached the break only three points ahead, but to their credit they kept their patience and struck back immediately after the restart.

With the wind at their backs Nelson and Sutherland pinned Wisbech back into the left corner with some intelligent punts, and from a driven lineout Bloxham timed the ball release to perfection so that Nelson was able to show a lovely dummy and cut through the defence to score from 20 metres. Bloxham converted for a 10-point lead and Lowestoft and Yarmouth continued to exert huge pressure, especially at the set piece where the front five were outstanding. Wisbech only had one hope and that was in the wide spaces where some slippery running and slipshod tackling gifted them a long range try to bring them back within three points.

On 60 minutes the game's deciding event occurred when Thomas opted for a set of scrums in front of the Wisbech posts instead of going for the points. Massive efforts in three successive scrums eventually earned Lowestoft and Yarmouth a converted penalty try and once again pushed out the lead to 10 points. Titterington harshly had a deserved score disallowed, but with Lowestoft and Yarmouth now aiming to keep it tight and close out the game, another five metre scrum led to Thomas picking from the base and charging over. Wisbech typically hit back straight away with another try as their winger eased outside his man on halfway and burnt the cover defence, but Lowestoft and Yarmouth put the game beyond doubt in the final minutes when Nelson cut through for a second score very much in the same vein as his first.

Team: Nixon, Howe, Titterington, Coleman, Wilkinson, McElroy, Powles, Thomas, Bloxham, Nelson, Howell, Adams, McAlone, Boardley, Sutherland.

Subs: Bristo (Howe), Taylor Crisp (Boardley), Fewkes (Howell).

Tries: Howell, Bloxham, Nelson 2, penalty, Thomas.

Cons: Bloxham 3.

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