Picture gallery: Lowestoft and Yarmouth RC bandwagon rolls on
PUBLISHED: 10:49 18 February 2011 | UPDATED: 10:49 18 February 2011
Mersea Island 5, Lowestoft and Yarmouth 53
A second eight-try win in a fortnight keeps L&Y at the top of London 3NE for the moment, with Basildon hot on their heels after their impressive destruction of Wymondham this week.
Despite the scoreline, Mersea Island belied their bottom-of-the-table status and gave L&Y a really tough match down in Essex. The Islanders were a big experienced team and very physical, with more than one L&Y player left battered and bruised after the game.
The visitors started with the wind and soon got on the scoreboard with a penalty by Russ Chapman, shortly followed by an unconverted try by Jake Titterington which came from a quickly tapped penalty and good hands by Chris Howe and Dave Palmer, who found the giant prop lurking out on the wing. Mersea showed their spirit from the restart, when their outside centre cut back through a dozing L&Y midfield and found the number eight Brendan Cook who rounded the defence for a fine try.
L&Y were dominating possession though, and although their met stout defence around the fringes of the breakdowns, their pace out wide was obviously the key to a win.
A couple of flowing moves broke down just short of the Mersea line, but eventually from a line-out in the home 22, Scott Nelson threw a long pass to Myles McAlone and he was able to squirm out of a tackle and round under the posts for an easy Chapman conversion.
Brad Sutherland and Palmer combined to make some yards down the right, and some quick recycling by Howe and captain Marc Thomas gave Chapman and Nelson the chance to send McAlone over for an identikit second score within five minutes.
With the strong wind at their backs, L&Y were keen to get another score before the break and this time it was scrum half Chapman adding to his points tally. A mesmerising 70 metre break involving Howe, Nelson, Ryan Oakes twice, Palmer and Thomas was stopped just short of the Mersea line and from the scrum Titterington forced such pressure through the tighthead side that Chapman was able to steal the ball from his opposite and flop over the line.
The third quarter was a different game altogether as the Mersea fly half Spencer Priestley found his kicking boots and intelligently played them into position where they laid siege to the L&Y line. Stout defence and great spirit kept them from a certain try and then the tide turned as the home team conceded a series of penalties which took L&Y into their half.
Sutherland took a quick tap, made ground and Nelson and Howe were able to give Thomas enough space to fake a pass to Palmer and run over the line.
The captain got the ball rolling for the sixth try with a superb turnover, some swift handling enabled Titterington to charge through midfield before further hands found lock Callum Cashman on the wing with 40 metres to go and Palmer on his outside. Typically the burly youngster opted to crash through himself and eventually made it to the posts.
He did soon make up to Palmer for the seventh score, providing the scoring pass after position was set up by a break involving himself, Titterington, and centre Steve Adams.
Replacement Donald McArthur was twice involved in the final score, setting up the position for Titterington to trundle over for his second try from an inside pass by Nelson.
Director of Rugby Scott Nelson took a nasty blow to the ribs late in the game, but was pleased with the performance, especially with the newer players and the replacements. “Ryan Oakes had a busy day and was noticeable both in the line-out and around the park. Jan Scheijde invariably took the right option on the flank, and his replacement Kristan Taylor Crisp was superb when he came on for the last 30 minutes. Donald was as reliable as ever when he came onto the wing for Daniel Boardley, and it was good to see Simon Coleman grafting to win back his place in the second row.”
Man-of-the-match was Russ Chapman with his 18-point haul and his constant threats and sharp delivery at scrum half.
L&Y: Newton, Howe, Titterington, Wilkinson (Coleman), Cashman, Oakes, Scheijde (Taylor Crisp), Thomas, Chapman, Nelson, Boardley (McArthur), Adams, McAlone, Palmer, Sutherland. Tries: Titterington (2), McAlone (2), Chapman, Thomas, Palmer, Cashman. Pens: Chapman. Cons: Chapman (5).