Finchley hold on

Finchley 16 Great Yarmouth & Lowestoft 11

Newly-promoted Eastern Counties champions Great Yarmouth & Lowestoft looked set to run Finchley close when the first half ended all square, 6-6. But Finchley enjoyed their best spell, opening up a 10-point lead, and resisted a late rally by their opponents.

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Surging into the visitors' territory straight from the kick-off, Finchley went ahead after five minutes when scrum-half James Webb kicked a penalty close to the posts.

A booming penalty kick to touch from Tim Galligan put the seasiders on the defensive again. They conceded another penalty close to their posts, and, with the referee playing advantage, Finchley went over in the corner. However, the referee had spotted a forward pass, and they had to settle for the three points from the original penalty award, with Webb on target.

Finchley were forced back, conceding two penalties that were kicked by full back Greg Robertson to level by half-time.

Finchley roared back and appeared to be coasting home when they established a 16-6 lead.

A fine break by stand-off Galligan sent Hughton Campbell clear to score under the posts, with Webb adding the conversion points, 13-6.

Finchley's forwards, dominant in the tight and loose, gave their best performance to date in the line-out, with Lee Myall producing prodigious leaps on his return.

Webb raised his tally to 11 with a further penalty, 16-6, but the final ten minutes saw the visitors launch a desperate rally. Skipper 'Panda' Warnes crashed through three tackles and scored in the corner, but Finchley held on.

With maximum points, Finchley share top spot in the London League Division Two (North), and will be out to enhance their position with Saturday's visit to Old Verulamians.

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