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Cantabrigian battle to beat the London League 2NE drop goes to the wire

Cantabrigian suffered a late defeat to Romford & Gidea Park
Cantabrigian suffered a late defeat to Romford & Gidea Park

Cantabrigian were denied the chance of pulling further away from the threat of relegation by a last-gasp penalty in a 27-24 defeat at second-placed Romford & Gidea Park in London League 2NE.

Kieran Dolaghan got the ball rolling for Cantabs with a penalty, but a converted try by Romford saw them lead 7-3 after 25 minutes.

Five minutes later, a burst through the middle by the Romford centre led to him touching down under the posts, with the extras making it 14-3.

Having struggled to break the line, Finn Morrison and Dean James led the charge, and a supporting Tom Stace gathered a dropped ball to touch down. Dolaghan added the conversion to reduce the arrears to 14-10.

It did not last long though, as Romford responded with an unconverted try to lead 19-10.

A dangerous tackle led to Romford having their winger red carded, leaving the hosts with 14 for the rest of the game.

After half time, a 5m line-out led to play being switched wide for Morrison to touch down, and Dolaghan’s conversion cut the lead to two points.

Romford hit back again though, and scored another converted try to make it 24-17.

Cantabs were dominant in the closing stages and, with five minutes remaining, play was moved right from a scrum for Dolaghan to touch down in the corner and then convert his own try.

However, with Cantabs caught offside 30m away from their own posts, Romford’s replacement fly-half stepped up to land the penalty to give his side victory in the final play.

It left Cantabs with a losing bonus point, but moves them two away from the drop zone, with one game remaining.

Cantabs’ final match is away to Ipswich this Saturday (April 6).

In London & SE Premier, Shelford suffered a 41-17 defeat at Chingford.

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