Late heartache for Luton Rugby against Chelmsford

Rugby SUS-150618-153239001
Rugby SUS-150618-153239001

Luton suffered a last-gasp 19-18 defeat against Chelmsford in their first home game of the London One North season at the weekend.

With the last play of the game, Luton were leading 18-16, but were penalised for entering at the side of a ruck.

Visiting scrum half Ben Bayley made them pay as he slotted the penalty over to ensure his side triumphed.

Luton had started off on the attack and were awarded a penalty of their own early on as Chelmsford failed to roll away, with Rick Hobbs making no mistake.

The hosts looked confident in possession, but Chelmsford grew into the game and started dominating set piece scrums.

On 15 minutes, the visitors were level too as Luton were caught offside and Bayley made no mistake with his kick.

From the restart, a scrum was set up and Adam Cunnah broke through the middle before feeding winger Will Ferrier to round his man and score, making it 8-3.

With the ball back in play, a line-out led to a scuffle between both sides and the referee awarded Chelmsford a penalty five metres out.

They took the scrum and scored an excellent push over try through skipper Paul Redford to lead 13-3.

However, Luton reduced the arrears to seven points through Hobbs’ boot and they were right back in the match before half time.

The visitors lost possession on the ground and Luton took advantage, drilling the ball deep into the Chelmsford 22.

A subsequent line out saw Luton work the ball through the phases and eventually the home side scored an unconverted try through Jamie Trevino to trail 13-11 at the interval.

The second half was a much more even contest, but after eight minutes, Chelmsford were awarded a penalty due to a high tackle.

Bayley once again made no mistake from the tee, firing his side into a 16-1 1 lead.

Minutes later, Luton found themselves encamped inside the Chelmsford 22, as the visitors hung on with some desperate tackles.

Paul Redford was yellow carded for slowing the play down, and with Luton pressing on the Chelmsford line from just five metres out, they took a quick tap penalty to find an overlap with Adam Harris crossing.

Hobbs added the extras to make it 18-16 and that’s how the score stayed until the final minute when Bayley stepped up to win it for Chelmsford.

Luton, without a win from their opening two games of the campaign, visit fourth placed Amersham & Chiltern this weekend.

Luton’s IIIs suffered a 69-10 defeat against Bedford Swifts II in their friendly clash on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Academy side lost 21-15 to Cheshunt on Sunday, with the U14s winning 43-12 against Woodford,