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London Div 1N: Eton Manor 26 Chingford 15

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A dominant first-half display from Eton Manor was enough to set up an impressive win over local rivals Chingford at Bancroft RFC.

After a disappointing loss at North Walsham last weekend, second-place Manor were looking to bounce back straight away to keep the pressure on leaders Westcliff.

Stephen Ross, William Mowbray and Reece Reed all scored tries before the break and the hosts were able to hold off their opponents despite captain Tryson Goodchild being sent off.

Manor got off to the perfect start when they were awarded a penalty straight from kick-off, which Callum Mckie coolly slotted between the posts.

Mckie added another three points five minutes later after a Chingford infringement for hands in the ruck, before Manor were able to cross the line for the first time.

After a good scrum from the Manor pack earned them a free kick, the ball was spread to the left wing through the hands of centres Mowbray and Alex Hunter before Ross finished well in the corner.

The home team did not have to wait long for their next try with Kevin Reed stealing the ball on the halfway line and breaking away towards the line.

Reed was tackled five metres short but the ball broke loose, with Mowbray picking it up and scoring under the posts.

Mckie kicked the conversion and was then instrumental in Manor’s final try.

After another strong scrum, Nicholas Horton spread the ball to Mckie and his inch-perfect kick sent through Reed who managed to touch down with a sprawling dive.

Chingford managed to score their own try just before the break, when the hosts were made to pay for a sloppy line out and David Howells’ touchdown finally got the visitors on the board.

Going into half-time 23-5 up, Manor would have been hoping to add to their total in the second period, but in difficult conditions the game became more stagnated.

They were unable to replicate the free-flowing rugby that had seen them so dangerous in the first half, and the scrappiness turned to aggression when tempers boiled over.

Words were exchanged between the two packs before the scrum turned into a fight, with Goodchild and Chingford’s Jamie Pearson receiving red cards.

The visitors managed to run in two more tries, with Howells getting his second and just before the final whistle Jesse Milne bundled the ball over after a good push from the forwards.

Manor travel to Letchworth Garden City for a rearranged fixture next weekend, seeking revenge on a side which beat them 27-20 earlier in the season.

*Woodford were brought back down to earth with a bump by table-topping Westcliff.

Having beaten Tabard, Chingford and Romford & Gidea Park on successive wins, they slumped to a 60-7 defeat on the coast.

They now face a blank weekend before hosting Diss on February 8.

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