Last-minute heartache as Luton RFC lose again

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London One North: Luton 18 Thurrock 22

Luton were left devastated after losing 22-18 to Thurrock in London One North on Saturday.

The Newlands Road side came within seconds of ending their losing streak but conceded a last-minute try and remain bottom of the table.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring on six minutes when the ball was passed out wide to Fraser Kidd, who sprinted over.

Luton came very close to reducing the deficit as Rick Hobbs narrowly missed two penalties, one of which hit the post.

This seemed to lift the hosts spirits as they began to pressure Thurrock, nearly getting over following some extravagant passing between Jonathan Kerr and Thomas Mahendran but the away side held their ground well and managed to clear.

It was on the half-hour mark that Luton did make headway as they were awarded another penalty for hands in a ruck and this time Hobbs had no trouble kicking it through the uprights to end the first half 5-3 down.

Luton brought the momentum from the first half into the second as they had Thurrock on the back foot, scoring a try in the 49th minute.

The ball was sent out wide to replacement Johnny Wright who was tackled just short of the line.

However his offload was gathered by Chris Davies who grounded it to put his team 8-5 in front.

Thurrock seemed to get back into the game following that try, and were awarded a penalty for offside which Tim Blundell scored with ease to equalise.

The game was far from finished there, as Robert Povey intercepted a pass in the 59th minute and went on a spectacular 50-metre run to place the ball right under the posts, the try scorer kicking the extras too.

However, Thurrock responded well once more and equalised again in the 63rd minute, getting over through Jarrett Crouch, with Tom Worsfold converting.

The home side went back ahead after receiving a penalty for a high tackle, Povey making it 18-15 with 10 minutes to go.

Luton tackled ferociously to defend their lead but eventually the barrage of attacks from Thurrock allowed Jake Barrand to go over, Blundell converting to seal a 22-1 win.

After the game, Luton manager Dicky Jones said: “Another crunching defeat right in the last minute is very difficult to take, but we’re very pleased with the boys’ performance.

“They showed that we aren’t just a bottom of the league team.

“Nobody has come here and walked over us. Thurrock are third in the league, they’re a very strong side who have a lot of depth in their squad and we gave them a hell of a run.

“It’s just unfortunate that a few decisions didn’t go our way.”

Luton travel to CS Rugby this weekend.