Bonus-point win means Old Streets avoid relegation

Team score five first-half tries to clinch survival with a 33-17 win over Harlow

Old Streetonians secured their position in London II North East for next season with a bonus-point win over fellow strugglers Harlow.

The crucial victory means the team finish the season in ninth place – something head coach David Bailey didn’t think was possible.

“I didn’t tell the lads, but I thought we were going down two months ago. They’ve turned this around brilliantly, and they’ve improved slowly and steadily,” he said.

Bailey’s men started the game with a high tempo and really turned on the style to finish a disappointing season with a flourish.

With one of the first moves of the game, the ball was fed to wing Rob Clougher, who did well to score beneath the posts, providing an easy conversion for Nick Barham.

Moments later, Old Streets scored their second try from a scrum as flanker Anthony Mills crossed to give his side a 14-0 lead after just 15 minutes.

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Soon after, the hosts had their third try, from a driving maul, with second row Rob Jones scoring.

The all-important bonus-point try soon followed, this time from scrum half Nick Yip, who touched down following a pushover scrum.

The fourth try relaxed the home side who then began to break the visitors’ defensive line with ease as Pickard offloaded superbly to Atkinson to score.

On the stroke of half time, the visitors made their mark with a try in the corner, following lazy defence from the hosts, for a score of 33-5 at the break.

The home side created several opportunities in the second half, but failed to add more points.

Instead, turnovers and missed tackles allowed the visitors back into the game, with two tries scored through their backs, for a final score of 33-17.

Captain Barham revealed the squad aim to do much better next season. “We’ve enjoyed the challenge of a higher standard of rugby. We’ve not met that challenge consistently, but I think we’ll be better prepared next year.”

Old Streetonians: Downey, Clogher, Barnham, Pickard, M Atkinson, Dunn, Yip; Hollingsworth, Mackay, Wollaston, Silverstone, Jones, Mills, Marson, Webb. Replacements: D Atkinson, O’Shea, Perry.

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