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Playing for pride

PUBLISHED: 16:45 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 21:47 02 July 2010

ROMFORD & Gidea Park saw their hopes of a third-place finish in London Two North East come to an end in a 39-26 defeat at Sudbury. The visitors were left to rue a poor start as they fell 10-0 down in just nine minutes. Sudbury opened the scoring with an e

ROMFORD & Gidea Park saw their hopes of a third-place finish in London Two North East come to an end in a 39-26 defeat at Sudbury.

The visitors were left to rue a poor start as they fell 10-0 down in just nine minutes.

Sudbury opened the scoring with an early penalty, then added a converted try to gain the upper hand.

Dave Gilmore showed good strength to run under the posts in reply, converting his own score to cut the gap to three points in the 23rd minute.

But Sudbury won good lineout ball and moved the ball wide after a series of rucks to claim their second try and move 17-7 up.

Gilmore sent Ricky Howard over on the half-hour mark, but Sudbury ran in another try, which was converted, and kicked a penalty to lead 27-12 at the interval.

Park dominated after the restart to close the gap to just a single point and looked favourites to go on and win.

Neil Davies went under the posts after a good turnover, five minutes into the second half, and Pete O'Brien claimed his first try of the season which was also converted to make it 27-26.

Park coach Mark Collins said: "For the first 20 minutes of the second half, we smashed their door down. The crowd went pretty quiet and we were thinking 'hang on a minute, this is on the cards now'."

But victory hopes were extinguished as Sudbury scrambled their way over for another try - as Matt Phillips and Davies were both lying on the turf injured - and another try in the closing stages completed the tally.

Collins added: "The attitude and spirit of the boys was fantastic, I was very pleased.

"The two scores near the end went against the grain, but we've had three good games with Sudbury this season."

Park complete their league programme against Harlow tomorrow week (April 10) and Collins said: "Hopefully we'll finish off as we began the season, with a win. We'll be looking to bring some of the under-17s in to show them the ropes for next year and the future."

Romford's under-14s lost 8-5 to Braintree in their latest friendly.


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