IN AN absorbing week for local sport, Chingford and Woodford produced a terrific ding-dong battle for bragging rights at the weekend, and it was the Waltham Way team that came up trumps...just.

Chingford had opened up a healthy lead over their fierce rivals but Woodford staged a nerve-racking finale by pulling to within a point of their hosts, thanks to two penalties from the boot of Ben Lloyd.

However, despite a late surge from the visitors, Chingford were able to cling on and register their first win in four games in London One North.

Phil Howell’s men remain in fifth place, with an outside chance of promotion, while Woodford missed the chance to move to within one point of their neighbours.

It was Woodford who got off to the best start on Saturday, Lloyd slotting an early penalty as the away side looked to make the most of a period of dominance.

But Woodford could not add to that and they were made to pay for their lack of cutting edge, as Luke Campbell broke away, beating several players on his way to the posts for a magnificent solo try to turn the tables in Chingford’s favour. Debutant Robert Gash made no mistake with the conversion and the score now read 7-3.

The Waltham Wayers ended the half in the ascendancy while, after the break, it was a more even affair. Gash doubled his tally with a precise drop-goal, but Woodford hit back with a penalty to bring them within four points. Another late strike cut the deficit to a single point, but Chingford held out for the victory.

Winning captain Ben Jeynes said afterwards: “It was a game we could not afford to lose. We were the only team out there who looked as if they wanted to score tries.”

There will be a second derby in as many weeks for Chingford when they face Eton Manor on Saturday. And recent form suggests they will have their work cut out after Manor made it two wins on the trot when they demolished bottom side Welwyn 31-8.

In London Three North East, Wanstead endured a war of attrition against promotion-chasing Canvey Island, with just three points separating the two teams. In the end it was Island who emerged victorious, but not before Wanstead had given them a run for their money.

Elsewhere, Bancroft kept up their pursuit of promotion with a comprehensive drubbing of fellow high-fliers Clacton.

The Bs ran in 22 unanswered points to move two points clear of Clacton in second place, with a game in hand.

Ilford Wanderers were well beaten 30-12 by Maldon.