Old Streets record second win of the season
Old Streetonians 25 Beccles 15
Old Streetonians recorded a bonus-point victory against Beccles on Saturday in a battle of London Two North East’s bottom two sides on the Hackney Marshes.
Old Streets welcomed back captain Duncan Mackay following a three-month absence through injury, and the Shoreditch-based side opened the scoring after five minutes when win Mark Muir broke from his own 22 and then gathered his own chip to beat the Beccles midfield.
The wing then offloaded to centre Matt Atkinson, who touched down.
However, the conversion was missed by fellow centre Nick Barham.
The visitors responded with a penalty after the hosts were caught offside, bringing the score to 5-3.
On the half-hour mark the home side scored again, when flanker Harry Marson broke and passed to full back Tom Downey, who made good progress up the pitch.
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Downey then offloaded to Atkinson, who ran in to register his second try of the game.
Barham then slotted a penalty for Old Streets, his only successful kick of the game, to make the score 13-3 at the break.
Five minutes into the second half, it was Atkinson who broke from midfield and passed to Marson, the other candidate for man of the match, who then finished off the move in the corner to make the score 18-3.
If the score suggested that Old Streets were beginning to pull away from the Suffolk side, it wasn’t through lack of endeavour from Beccles.
First of all, the home side’s pack had to drive the Beccles forwards back when they were already over the tryline, while the pace in the visitors’ back line was also causing Old Streets plenty of problems.
However, just before the hour mark, the hosts were awarded a penalty which fly-half Alex Glover kicked into touch 15 metres from the Beccles tryline.
At the ensuing lineout, the Old Street forwards caught the ball and drove slowly but very surely up the field.
Once over the tryline, it was scrum-half Chris McAtominey who took the ball from the driving maul and touched down to steal the forwards’ glory and secure Old Streets’ bonus point with their fourth try of the afternoon.
With the game seemingly won, the home side then had to contend with the loss of Barham to the sin bin for 10 minutes, when he reacted petulantly to a late tackle.
During his absence, the stretched Old Street defence let in two well-worked tries, taking the score to 23-15.
However, in the last minute Barham was back on the pitch and made amends for his earlier misdemeanour with a try-saving tackle to deny Beccles a losing bonus point.
Old Streets remain 11th in the league table on 10 points, but make the trip to fourth-from-bottom Woodford this weekend, who have 15, with Canvey Island sandwiched between the two sides on 12.