Bailey delighted as Old Streets record first win
Coach excited as his side beat Lowestoft in thrilling 34-30 victory
Old Streetonians finally secured their first points of the season last weekend with a 34-30 away win at Lowestoft and Yarmouth – much to the delight of head coach David Bailey.
Old Streets made the three-hour coach journey up to the Suffolk coast, not knowing what to expect from a side that is new to London Two North East, having been promoted last season.
And it was the visitors that got off to a great start with the pack completely dominating for the first 20 minutes.
Following a solid lineout, the ball was worked to the centres and Nick Barham put the first points on the board for Old Streets, stepping his opposite man before scoring under the posts.
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After more sustained pressure, Ant Mills took a quick-tap penalty and was tripped by a Lowestoft prop which resulted in a yellow card and three more points for the visitors.
However, despite having a man’s advantage, it was the hosts that fought their way back into the game for a score of 10-8 at the break.
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After the interval, it was Lowestoft that came out the stronger, scoring two tries in quick succession to take a 22-10 lead.
However, with the visitors’ heads starting to drop, centre Barham intercepted a wayward Lowestoft pass and then ran half the length of the pitch to score.
The home side were rattled and soon after, Alex Glover hacked the ball upfield for Tom Downey to collect and crash over for a try.
With Old Streets now in the ascendancy, the visitors soon scored again through wing Matt Atkinson to retake the lead.
However with five minutes left to play, poor defending from Old Streets resulted in the hosts scoring another try to take a 30-29 lead.
The visitors rallied themselves once more and with the final move of the game scored out wide through wing Atkinson to silence the home crowd.
“I am delighted with how we played and it was a very exciting game,” said Bailey. “I think that the game showed that we are beginning to gel as a team and it was a spirited win from us.
“It was a long coach journey up to Suffolk, and we were losing with minutes to go.
“But we showed real determination and that only comes from working together.
“It’s a win that takes us off the bottom of the league and we scored five tries away from home, which is great.”
Bailey also admitted that he didn’t know what to expect from Lowestoft as a team.
“Being a new side to the league, Lowestoft were a bit of an unknown entity,” he said. “But they were a big, robust and very agricultural side and we were better than them and deserved our win.
“We have played the sides that will be challenging for the title already this season, and I think that our victory shows we are still on course for a mid-table finish which is where I want us to be.
“I must admit that with five minutes left to play, I did think it was going to be another one of those days, but we kept going until the very end.”
Due to an injury in the front row, Bailey had to put his own boots on to play for the final few minutes, but the coach wants to take no credit for the victory.
“No way was I key to our win,” he said. “I had to play the final minutes in the front row, and it’s lucky that we don’t have a game this weekend as it gives me a chance to recover. Hopefully I’ll be able to walk again soon!”