IT WAS an unwelcome case of deja vu for Chingford on Saturday, as their promotion hopes were dealt a body blow with a last-minute defeat at the hands of fellow high-fliers Civil Service in London One North.

The Waltham Wayers conceded a penalty in the dying embers of the game to see their one-point lead turn into a 13-11 defeat. It was the third time the team had suffered late heartbreak this season, following last-gasp losses to local rivals Woodford and Staines last week.

A converted try saw Service lead at the break. However, Chingford bounced back to move into the lead when David Knight finished off a move involving Ben Bolton-Smith and Steve Hollis. Kurt Forward missed the conversion, but he found his mark with two penalties, while Civil Service also slotted one to leave the score 11-10 to the visitors.

But a late infringement after some heavy pressure allowed the home side to take the points.

Meanwhile, Woodford played their part in an entertaining match against Stevenage, eventually losing 29-24.

The Highams men had a stranglehold on the game at the break, coming from a try down to pull ahead through two scores from Wyer Roberts and a Ben Lloyd conversion.

But Stevenage turned the tables, running in three tries to Woodford’s one and, despite a late surge that yielded one more try for the hosts, the visiting side held out for the win.

A miserable week for local sides in the division was completed with Eton Manor’s 32-7 defeat to table-topping Westcliff.

There was better news in Essex One, however, as Bancroft moved to within four points of leaders Campion with an impressive 16-10 win at fellow promotion-chasers East London.

Craig Adams’ try gave the Bs the lead. The home side hit back almost immediately, but a penalty and a James Dempsey try gave the visitors plenty of breathing space at the interval.

East London could only add three more points in the second period as Bancroft held firm.

Elsewhere, Ilford Wanderers were beaten 26-10 by Millwall.

In Essex Two, Loughton trounced high-flying Stanford Le Hope thanks to a terrific team display. Mike Estall’s drop goal set the tone for the afternoon, with Matt Thompson going over for a comfortable lead. After a brief scare, Loughton stretched clear with tries from Estall and a fine brace from Ricardo James.

Ongar were well-beaten by Brightlingsea.