Improving Ipswich suffer narrow defeat at third-placed Chingford

Ipswich's Alan Barker was one of the visitors' try-scorers

Ipswich's Alan Barker was one of the visitors' try-scorers - Credit: Lucy taylor

Despite defeat, Ipswich returned to Suffolk having endorsed forward coach Clive Bell’s belief that last week’s home victory was a turning-point.

Having conceded 190 points in their last three games, last season’s London 2 North champions tightened up their rearguard in Essex.

Ipswich kicked off with the wind advantage but were unable to contain a lively third-placed Chingford side who ran everything from everywhere to counteract the blustery conditions.

This kept Ipswich pinned in their own half with Chingford running through the phases. In an ever-increasing effort to get possession, Ipswich fell foul of the referee.

From one such infringement, the hosts took an easy three points in front of the posts after five minutes, before a terrible re-start resulted in a scrum on half way. The Chingford centre, from first phase, ghosted over the top of Alan Barker before releasing his wing to score out wide. The conversion was missed.

A string of infringements then saw a stream of penalties and finally a yellow card was issued to Cameron Beaton for continual offside by Ipswich.

Down to 14 men the hosts made Ipswich pay, scoring three more unconverted tries to take a 23-0 lead.

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Restored to 15 late in the half, Ipswich had their best period and Lee Parry smashed a tackle that raised confidence, leaving the forwards to respond by winning several phases to take them deep in the opposition half.

From a scrum on the 22, a well-worked move saw Parry feed Jermaine Watson at lightning pace who slipped between the centres to skate in untouched. The celebrations were cut short though as the referee adjudged the pass to be forward.

Normal service was then resumed with Ipswich constantly offending, resulting in Ben Acton being sent to the bin on the stroke of half time.

Starting the second half it was Chingford who then fell foul of the referee’s rucking laws, allowing Ipswich to gain momentum with Chris Blom, Ed Hawkins and Acton driving deep into the opposition.

From a scrum, five metres from the Ipswich line, Blom slipped the ball to Acton who rampaged to halfway. Good support and several quick rucks released Parry from 40 yards who raced in for a fine individual try. The conversion missed.

Attacking with every piece of possession, Ipswich forced Chingford to commit offences. With the pressure mounting, along with the penalties, the referee lost patience with the home team’s hooker sending him to the bin.

This led to constant Ipswich pressure and Beaton was held up over the line. However, from the resulting scrum, Carlton Littlechild’s quick feet and pass put Barker over in the corner. The try was converted.

From the kick-off, a fine break by Acton saw him make 40 yards before a deft off-load to Littlechild saw him race away to score a fine try. Barker converted.

With five minutes remaining, another score would have given the visitors not only a famous victory but a fine bonus point for four tries.

However, with the hosts visibly stunned, Ipswich could not find the extra gear to pull off an incredible comeback and the Chingford wing scored out wide and end the encounter, 28-19.

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