Relegation confirmed as Luton lose to Chingford

Luton RFC lost once more on Saturday
Luton RFC lost once more on Saturday

Luton’s relegation from London One North was finally confirmed on Saturday as they lost 23-16 at home to Chingford.

Despite an improved performance from the hosts, they couldn’t register only a second win of the season, to fall through the trapdoor.

Luton had begun the game well, awarded a penalty in the seventh minute which Rik Hobbs scored with ease.

Chingford responded three minutes later with a penalty of their own, but Luton almost broke through when some impressive passing between Steve Allen and Tom Mahendran saw Tyler Chant dragged down just short off the line.

In the 14th minute, Luton were awarded another penalty for an infringement in a ruck which Hobbs duly dispatched to make it 6-3.

Although the home side were the dominant, they should have made more of their chances as on the half hour mark Robert Povey saw yellow for a deliberate knock on and Chingford went over through James Baber, Gareth Stoppani kicking the extras.

It took Luton just two minutes to respond as they were awarded another penalty and Hobbs made it 10-9.

Five minutes later, Hobbs intercepted a Chingford pass and showed a clean pair of heels, grounding the ball under the posts and converting to make the score 16-10 at half time.

The second period started with a Chingford try for Nick Lynch straight from the restart following some good passing between the players, with Stoppani converting. Chingford then added a penalty in the 52ndminute to make it 20-16.

Luton piled on the pressure, but couldn’t make the break through as Ross Geraghty came close to a winning try, but lost control of the ball inches from the line.

Luton tried to run a late penalty but again knocked on as the visitors sealed victory when Stoppani kicked a late penalty.

The game fizzled out after a serious injury to Luton’s Hemson as manager Dicky Jones is now looking forward to next season.

He said: “We fell into our normal trap, we switched off, we were clumsy in our tackling and it cost us a vital try.

“We were unfortunate towards the end of the game, we grounded the ball but it was deemed knocked on, but you have to live with those mistakes.

“Altogether it was a positive performance from us, we looked to dominate for large periods of the game and we’ve come away from another good performance without the desired result.”

“It’s excellent to have Povey back (from international duty with Canada), he’s an excellent player and has showed his class at the international level.

“He’s a real asset for us and hopefully we can keep him for next year.

“It’s now mathematically impossible so I can stop beating the drum about staying up and we can start looking forward to next year.

“We’ve already had some discussions with a few players and we’ve already got the ball rolling for next season so we’re all really excited to see what talent we have coming through.”

Luton are without a game this weekend.