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By Jamie Arrowsmith Monday 04 February 2013 Updated: 06/02 18:47
Dunstablians 29 Lutterworth 27
Midlands Two East (South)
JOE Ball's two tries did not prove enough to save Lutterworth from an agonising defeat at Dunstablians on Saturday.
The visitors had to be content with two bonus points from what proved to be a thrilling encounter, and one they thought they had won when Brad Pell went over late on, only to be denied.
An early penalty put Dunstablians ahead but when the resultant kick off went straight out of play it gave the visiting forwards the opportunity to show their strength.
Flanker Joe Sullivan did well to disrupt a scrum and that led to a good spell of Lutterworth pressure with newcomer Zac Woolard, Dan Linacre, Alex Dann and Josh Russell combining to start a move which led to the award of a penalty, but the attempt was off target.
Both sides made mistakes in the early stages but the first moment of quality brought the game's first try and it was the visitors who were celebrating.
Quick line-out ball from Woolard provided the chance for the backs to show their capabilities and Linacre drew the defence out before releasing Ball to cross for the first time on the afternoon, Jack Edwards converted.
Boosted by the score, Lutterworth went over again four minutes later after forcing the hosts to make hasty choices in defence, allowing Sullivan to catch his own charged down ball and cross.
Minor infringements proved to be Lutterworth's downfall all afternoon and as such, two quick penalties allowed the hosts to close the gap.
Dunstablians retook the lead when their winger went over from a line-out but Ball, after linking with brother Luke, crashed over on the stroke of half time to give Lutterworth a 19-16 interval advantage.
Luke Ball added three points to the lead with a drop goal at the start of the second half but Dunstablians' reply was swift with a try and penalty putting them in the driving seat once more.
The hosts continued to struggle to deal with Lutterworth's forwards but the referee refused decided a yellow card was not required and eventually the danger would pass.
Lutterworth turned defence into attack as Dunstablians lost line-out ball midfield. Forwards and backs interchanged passes as Sullivan again made yards, passed out to Dan Ford, then to Carter making space for Luke Ball to break around the defence. With probably the best move of the game, Luke then took one step inside and drew the winger, giving Pell space to break the line and score, returning the lead to Lutterworth.
Elation turned to agony almost immediately though as lost line-out ball, space and poor defence allowed the home side's winger to score, sealing Lutterworth’s fate.
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