Chelmsford 27 Beccles 24
London NE Division 2
Chelmsford came up against a plucky Beccles team who are fighting for their lives to remain in the league and avoid relegation. For long periods the Beccles forward were on top of Chelmsford although the Chelmsford team always looked more likely to score outside in the backs.
Under bright blustery conditions, Chelmsford were quickly on the attack following good interplay between Sasu Wihapi and Hankin, allowing Hankin to eventually speed through the Beccles defence for a converted try.
Beccles came straight back at Chelmsford and following some indifferent defence, Beccles caught at the lineout and drove on to score in the corner reducing the deficit 7-5.
Chelmsford young winger, Tatenda Gurure was next on the score sheet, running in from 25 metres to score his first try at senior level.
This was followed by a fine try by Hankin who caught the ball on the burst following a lineout and was through the Beccles defence before they could react. 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 twenty minutes to go and with the score 21-19, Chelmsford looked in danger of losing. It was now that the Chelmsford forwards stepped up and took on the opposition. 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 to make the final score 27-24.
Ed Gooby, the Chelmsford coach, was full of praise for the Beccles team. ‘It was a very hard game and although it was a slim victory it puts us in the right frame for the next game away at Enfield next week playing against promotion candidates’.