After being unbeaten since November last year the Streets run came to a grinding halt at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Luctonians.
Street started well and dominated the first 10 mins of poccession but strong defence from the visitors ensured that all the effort from the team in red did not trouble the scoreboard. On 10 mins an exit from Luctonians was dropped in the difficult conditions and they ensured their first visit to the Street 22 ended with them coming away with 5 points when a smart cross field kick was dotted down by the visiting number 8 (0-5). For the next 5 mins the Street again dominated the ball in the opposition half without getting any real chance to open their own account before a break from the Lucs 15 took the play deep into the Streets 22. The chance seemed to have been lost when Lucs knocked on but from the resulting home scrum the ball shot out the back and Lucs 9 picked up and scored unchallenged (0-10). The Street again dominated the ball from the KO and this time got their reward when Andy Murray broke before passing to Nick Rhodes to dive over the whitewash that was the prelude to yet another impressive performance from the home number 6. Cliffie Hodgson added the extras (7-10).
The half then became a much more even game played out in the middle of the field. On 38 Mins Lucs broke and from their own scrum worked the ball wide where their charge for the line was first called short by the referee but was then given by him, one of a few strange decisions made through the 80mins. (7-15). The game return to a mid-field battle with both sides working hard but failing to make any noteworthy breaks. HT 7-15
The second half started poorly for Street with Lucs dominating the ball and on 44 mins a couple of missed tackles on the far side allowed their winger to run in (7-20). The Street worked hard to try and stay in the match and on 55 mins got their reward. After a home lineout just inside the Luctonians half the ball was worked through a number of phases before the break was made by Brett Daynes who passed wide to Ollie Cregg for him to sprint home. The extras were missed. (12-20). Luctonians responded immediately when, once again, their 15 made a break that was good but benefitted from 3 or 4 missed Street tackles before he dotted down under the post with the extras added (12 – 27). The Street were not yet beaten though as the ball was won from the KO and worked through the middle before Andy Murray broke with one of his dazzling runs to score under the posts. Cliffie added the conversion. (19-27).
For a few minutes it looked like Street may work their way back into the game, especially after the Luctonians 11 was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on. The Street went straight on the attack but the ball was stripped off Cliffie Hodgson who in trying to make amends then committed the same offence and received the same punishment, strangely never to be allowed back on the field even though this was only the 67th minute. Back to even numbers Luctonians pressed again and won a penalty on 70 min, which was slotted home (19-30). With the time slipping away Luctonians controlled the ball well and when awarded a 5M scrum had 3 scrum penalties before the ref yellow carded George Walsh. With the next scrum now non contested but the Street down to 13 men and Lucs back to 15 they worked the ball wide to score in the corner. The last play of the game was a missed conversion FT 19-35 Without doubt Luctonians are a very good side with some cracking players, particularly their 15, 13 and 8, but the Street are disappointed that their own errors gifted so much ball to the dangerous opposition. The other results went in our favour so all is not lost and we need to regroup ready for another difficult challenge away to Newport in two weeks time.