RUGBY: Manor keep pace at the top with Chingford win (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Eton Manor maintain pressure at the top of London 1 North after beating Chingford 25-15
4:44pm Tuesday 28th January 2014 in Football
Eton Manor are still in touching distance of top spot in London 1 North after beating local rivals Chingford 25-15 at home on Saturday.
Manor remain two points behind league leaders Westcliff, who also won, while Chingford are now fifth and 11 points off the summit.
Chingford had come out on top in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and with Manor suffering a surprise loss at North Walsham the week before, the hosts had it all to play for.
Manor were handed the perfect start within moments of the kick-off as Chingford gave away a penalty for not releasing the ball and Callum McKie converted the penalty for a 3-0 lead.
The visitors grew into the game however and mounted a number of free-flowing attacks.
Strong defending from McKie and Alex Hunter kept Manor's opponents at bay and with danger averted, the home side extended their lead after nine minutes when McKie kicked a second penalty.
Chingford struggled to regain their impetus and when Chingford gave away a free-kick for pushing too early at a scrum, Manor took full advantage.
Taking it quickly, the ball was flung out to the wing where Stephen Ross powered his way through for the game's opening try.
The conversion was missed and Manor led 11-0 after 15 minutes.
Five minutes later the gap widened as Kevin Reed intercepted some sloppy Chingford passing before sprinting half the field.
He was hauled down just short of the try line but Damian Horton was on hand to take the offload and feed Alex Hunter to score the second try which was converted to make it 18-0.
From the restart Chingford enjoyed a period of possession in and around Manor’s 22, using their big forwards to good effect.
The away side should have reduced the deficit but a simple penalty in front of posts, clipped the woodwork and stayed out.
Chingford's disappointment was compounded soon after. After a good drive from Garth Tucker, McKie kicked through to Reece Reed who won the race to the bouncing ball to touch down try number three.
Manor missed the conversion and the visitors did finally get the try their first-half display deserved five minutes before the break to make it 23-5 going into the interval.
The hosts had the wind behind them in the second period as they went in search of a bonus-point.
Chingford were reduced to 14 men after the referee brandished a yellow card for repeated offences btu Manor couldn't make their numerical advantage count.
Instead, it was the visitors who scored the next try to make it 23-10 and, now the stronger of the two sides, stir hopes of a comeback.
Manor though stemmed the tide with a penalty which McKie slotted over and while Chingford were able to cross the line with the last play of the match, it was too little late as Manor eased to victory.
With league leaders Westcliff facing a tough game at Ruislip this weekend, Manor will be hoping to take full advantage when they take on Letchworth.
Chingford are not in action on Saturday. Their next match is on February 8 against Romford & Gidea Park.