‘Wake-up call’ for Wanstead
PUBLISHED: 12:30 13 October 2016
Ilford and Woodford also lose
Director of rugby James Reyburn admitted Wanstead’s defeat at London Three North East rivals Ely was a ‘wake-up call’.
The Herons made the long trip up to Suffolk looking for a fifth successive win, but came up short in a 21-17 defeat, although they did claim a losing bonus point.
Reyburn said: “We were missing seven of the starting line-up, but it was a bit of a blow as we still expected to go and give a better performance.
“We knew Ely were decent and they played well and deserved to win, but we were below-par.
“We had chances to win it, but we didn’t take them. From one to 18 it was a bad day at the office.”
Wanstead have a free weekend to nurse some injuries and regroup, before returning to action with a home match against Southwold on October 22.
Reyburn added: “Lots of them are carrying knocks so it’s good that we can rest up.
“We’ve got three big games coming up, against Southwold, Harlow and Upminster, and want to be fit and raring to go for those.”
Three brothers took to the field together for the first time ever in Wanstead’s 125-year history on Saturday.
Chris, Nick and Calum Luxmoore all played for the second XV against Upminster, with Herons winning by a 22-19 margin.
The 29-year-old Chris has played for the Roding Lane North club since the age of 12 and said: “It was fantastic playing with my two brothers, something I didn’t think we’d be able to do. It was a great game and one to remember.”
Ilford Wanderers slipped to their fifth successive defeat in London Three North East as they went down 30-15 at home to Stowmarket on Saturday.
The hosts began well as they won a line-out in the fifth minute and showed the previous week’s struggles were a blip as Chris Smith touched down from a catch and drive move.
Ilford’s luck started to work against them, though, as Smith limped off soon after.
A high tackle by Ilford gave Stowmarket the opportunity to clear their lines, but the hosts spoiled their line-out and forced a knock-on.
Stowmarket came back to score a try in the corner to level, but Ilford were showing some delightful handling, with Ryan McCarthy and Ollie Bird to the fore, and regained the lead from another catch and drive as Bird went over for a 10-5 lead at the break.
Ilford were made to pay for a lapse in concentration after the restart, though, as the visitors ran in their second try and converted to edge ahead. And the home side’s woes continued as prop Sam Morgan went off injured and Stowmarket scored again to go 17-10 up.
Wanderers fought bravely to stem the flow of points and the excellent McCarthy showed superb awareness to dot down and close the gap to two points.
But more cruel luck saw stand-in fly-half Graham Bailey injured, with Stowmarket piling on the pressure with a penalty as Ilford struggled to shore up their depleted scrum.
McCarthy was yellow-carded late on, before Stowmarket’s final try and Ilford captain Jason Taylor said: “Being bottom of the table speaks for itself, but we can’t help feeling we are improving and without injuries and unavailability we are confident we can reverse some of the losses we’ve had.
“The heartening thing is the way second-team players have stepped up and performed. It’s a long season and we intend to fight to the last.”
Woodford came up short in their latest London Two North East outing against Cantabrigian at Highams.
Tom Redfern’s men suffered their second defeat in four league outings this season as they were beaten 26-17 on their own patch.
The hosts took the lead with a penalty, then scored a try by the posts which was converted for an early 10-0 lead.
And a line-out catch and drive move led to another converted try to put Woodford 17 points up, before Cantabs hit back with a try on 36 minutes.
The visitors applied pressure after the restart and cut the gap to five points with a second try and conversion, before taking the lead midway through the second half.
Shellshocked Woodford then conceded a try under the posts, which was converted, and were unable to hit back in the last 10 minutes as Cantabs held firm for their bonus-point win.
Woodford will look to regroup on Saturday when they travel to Suffolk to take on Ipswich in the Intermediate Cup, before returning to league action with a home match against Rochford on October 22.
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