Hadleigh go close
RUGBY UNION: Hadleigh 15 Basildon 17. Hadleigh came close to gaining two valuable league points against second-placed Basildon in London League Division Three North-East and can count themselves unfortunate to not at least have taken a share of the spoils.
Hadleigh 15 Basildon 17
HADLEIGH came close to gaining two valuable league points against second-placed Basildon in London League Division Three North-East and can count themselves unfortunate to not at least have taken a share of the spoils.
Basildon, for their part, will be grateful for the victory, which keeps them favourites for the end-of-season play-offs.
Hadleigh's pack took control and kept the visiting threequarter line on the back foot. With number eight Mike Count having an impressive debut, it was only a matter of time before Hadleigh registered a score.
The pack drove on a well-drilled line-out but were halted just short of the try-line. Veteran prop Sands rescued the ball and fed Visser who scrambled over the line to level the scores after ten minutes.
Basildon were visibly shaken by this setback and Hadleigh held the upper hand. It was against the run of play when Basildon turned over possession on the halfway line and finally drove hooker Dignam over the line to take a five-point lead after 30 minutes.
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However, Hadleigh continued to press and it was no surprise when Visser collected his second try of the game just before the break.
The outcome of the match perhaps hinged on a contentious decision from referee Anthony Swift, who allowed a Basildon advantage to carry on for an excessive length of time and when the visitors were awarded a penalty five metres out the quick tap saw giant lock Matthew Bryan crash over. Haney converted and Basildon held a seven-point lead with 15 minutes left.
Hadleigh drove Basildon back into their own 22 for the remainder of the game and it came as no surprise when they scored. The try was out wide and the conversion was missed, leaving the visitors with a