McAlone leads way for L&Y
Lowestoft & Yarmouth 64, Thetford 3L&Y kept their two-point advantage at the top of Easteren Counties One and managed to extend their score difference in a one sided affair at Gunton Park.
Lowestoft & Yarmouth 64, Thetford 3
L&Y kept their two-point advantage at the top of Easteren Counties One and managed to extend their score difference in a one sided affair at Gunton Park.
Thetford are a team who can produce the unexpected, having beaten L&Y in the Cup last season, so the home side knew not to underestimate their task.
The visitors as usual proved combative, hard running and strong tackling but their lack of structure and shape enabled L&Y to create and take advantage of space almost at will, allowing Russ Chapman to notch up 19 points through seven conversions and a try, and man-of-the-match Myles McAlone racing in for three excellent scores.
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In fact, if it hadn't been for several handling mistakes and wrong decisions out wide along with some generous refereeing, L&Y could easily have bagged another six tries to add to the tally.
Young Tom Castleton came on to the wing in place of Daniel Boardley and scored with his first touch as L&Y spun the ball wide on a 60 metre move.
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Chapman passed away from the breakdown to Scott Nelson who sent the ball via centres Kris Nelson and McAlone to fullback Brad Sutherland who broke round the defence, drew his man and sent Castleton away on a 40m run to the posts and a simple touchdown.
A Castleton chip then set up the second score as Sutherland and flanker Lewis Davey set Chapman speeding through a grasping defence.
Marc Thomas scored his almost mandatory try from the base of 5m scrum, then Scott Nelson barged through at the second attempt from a move down the right hand blind side of a scrum.
McAlone then finished the half off with a exquisite midfield break before using his pace and strength to crash over the line.
Almost from the second half restart, McAlone ran hard onto a long Scott Nelson pass wide to the right, managed to shrug off a would-be tackler then outpace the defence for a 60m try.
With the confidence of a player who knows his form, he soon completed his hat-trick by outpacing the cover defence to the left.
The new-look front row of Graeme Newton, Chris Howe and Shaun Woodhouse were causing havoc in the scrummage as well as the loose, and their hoisting of lock Tim Fenn and No.8 Thomas in the lineout also took the majority of ball from the sidelines.
What ball Thetford salvaged was then being snaffled by a greedy defence where flankers Ben McElroy and Davey were prominent.
The try of the match went to Howe as he took a sublime delayed pass from McAlone to run unopposed under the sticks following two stunning plays that swept 70m upfield right then left through virtually every pair of hands.
Through a combination of unfamiliarity, greediness and sloppiness L&Y bombed a few half chances before the powerful and experienced prescence of Kris Nelson finished off the game with a brace of tries both made by fast ball from his forwards and quicks hands from brother Scott.
This weekend L&Y face a tough task away against Stowmarket, who were the last team to beat them in any competition in the corresponding fixture last season.
It is essential they get through this match unscathed in order to keep the pressure on their nearest rivals Wisbech.