Old Streetonians begin 2011 with Canvey reverse

London II North East

Old Streetonians 10 Canvey 16

OLD STREETONIANS should have started the New Year with a win, but old habits die hard. Despite dominating territory and possession, the east Londoners could not convert the chances they created into points.

After missing his first attempt, Nick Barham put Street 3-0 up with a penalty after Street made the early running in the Canvey half. Opportunities were being created all over the pitch by a reinvigorated forward performance, but a miserable day in midfield was halting every attack, Matt Atkinson and Barham treating the ball like a bar of soap, and knocking on at every opportunity.

The weak tackling that had been a feature of Streets first half to the season was non-existent, with Jono Douglas punching above his weight on the flank, felling everything in his path.

The only blip in the improved tackling saw Canvey’s hard running number 8 brush aside several tackles to make yards down the left. The momentum gathered was finished off impressively, to give the visitors a 5-3 lead.

Street hit back almost immediately, Anthony Mills being put through a gap in midfield by Andy Dunn, to run in under the posts. If the blindside had concentrated more on this aspect of his game, the game may have had a different result, but repeated offences earned him a yellow card shortly after the score, and penalties at key points ate away at any momentum the Street pack were able to build.

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The sides turned round 10-8, with Street against the wind in the second half. The forwards continued their resurgence, with a great effort from a second choice front row gaining parity at the scrums and lineouts, and the back five dominating the breakdown.

But again it was bad options and knock-ons that prevented Street from taking the points. Every time pressure built towards the Canvey 22, a knock-on or penalty would allow the Islanders to move play back into the Street half. One such turnover gave Canvey such ground they could catch and drive from the line-out to score, meaning Street needed a converted try to take the win.

But it didn’t come. Street had to settle for a solitary bonus point, which was not enough to keep them from entering the bottom two for the first time this season. The signs were encouraging, but Street will need to turn better performances into points if they are to survive.

Old Streetonians: Perkins, Baxter, O’Shea (Edwards 50), Cooper, Jones, Mills, Douglas, Webb (Silverstone 60), McAtominey, Dunn, Perry (Colbert 40), Atkinson, Barham, McAndrew, Downey.