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Southwold slip to narrow defeat as penalties take toll against East London

PUBLISHED: 11:18 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:18 08 March 2017

Charlie Smith about to score his first of two tries for Southwold. Picture by Linda Cayley

Charlie Smith about to score his first of two tries for Southwold. Picture by Linda Cayley

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Generally Southwold came out on top in all the stats bar two in this twisting, turning, thrilling and exhilarating game on a windy Southwold Common.

Those two were penalties and more importantly the result. Wold pipped East London in possession, scrummaging, open play, defence and attack, lineouts being shared equally, but if you give away 26 penalties, barring a miracle, no team is going to win and that proved critical on Saturday.

On chances created Wold were the better side and even the East London supporters knew they were fortunate to take the points from a 26-29 win.

First blood went to Wold when they were awarded a penalty on East London’s 22. A quickly-taken penalty by Jonny Mayall caught the visitors by surprise and Charlie Smith crashed over for a great try easily converted for a 7-0 lead.

By the 20th minute the score had narrowed to 7-6 after two successful kicks from the East London fly half.

It was Wold who scored next when James Barton streaked up the touchline to be tackled by the corner flag and forced into touch for a London throw in. Wold stole the ball and drove over for Duncan Hume to score their second try.

Six minutes later London drove 10 metres from the corner for their first try to take the lead 12-16.

The penalties kept coming and on the stroke of half-time a carbon copy of the visitors first try followed to make it 12-21 at the break.

The start of the second half saw London add another penalty. Charlie Smith was then yellow carded and London took advantage and scored their best try on 55 minutes. A penalty increased their lead to 12-29 and even with the conversion missed the game seemed out of Wold’s reach.

Smith returned and scored a another try with Luke Wade’s conversion closing the gap to 10 points.

Ten minutes later the gap was narrowed when James Barton pounced on a loose ball, kicked ahead and gathered to score. Wade missed the conversion but kicked a penalty to bring Wold within three points at 26-29 with five minutes to go.

East London kept Wold at bay, despite massive pressure, to the final whistle.

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