Chelmsford earn narrow victory
London 1 North - Chelmsford 27 Beccles 24
Chelmsford came up against a plucky Beccles team, who are fighting for their lives.
For long periods the Beccles forwards were on top of Chelmsford, although the hosts always looked more likely to score outside in the backs.
In bright and blustery conditions, Chelmsford were quickly on the attack. Following good inter-play between Sasu Wihapi and Hankin, it was Hankin who eventually sped through the Beccles defence for a converted try.
Beccles came straight back at Chelmsford and following some indifferent defence, the visitors caught the line-out and drove on to score in the corner, so reducing the deficit to 7-5.
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Young winger Tatenda Gurure was next on the score-sheet for Chelmsford. He ran in from 25 metres to score his first try at senior level.
This was followed by a fine try from Hankin, who caught the ball on the burst following a line-out. He was through the Beccles defence before they could react.
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At 21-5 it looked as if Chelmsford would run away with the game. Beccles, to their credit, drove forward and following some sustained pressure broke through to score a good forward try, to make the half-time score 21-12.
The second half began with Chelmsford on the attack playing up the slope, but a lack of understanding in the backs allowed the ball to fall into the hands of the Beccles centre, who had a clear 50-metre run in to score a converted try.
With 20 minutes to go and with the score 21-19, Chelmsford looked in danger of losing. It was now that their forwards stepped up and took on the opposition, to make the difference.
They got into positions whereby, when penalties were awarded, the reliable boot of Sasu Wihapi came into play, hitting two penalties to go along with his three conversions in the first half.
Beccles never dropped their heads and scored a good try in the final move of the game.