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Southend Rugby Club beaten at struggling Bishop's Stortford
SOUTHEND suffered a shock 22-15 defeat at struggling Bishop’s Stortford in National Two South on Saturday.
The Seasiders went into the game against their bottom-of-the- table hosts having won four of their opening six games of the season.
But they were not at their best at the weekend and the club’s director of rugby, Chris Green, felt the defeat was warranted.
“We didn’t deserve to win the game, they did,” said Green.
“We didn’t do anything with the ball and we didn’t put together any structure in the game at all.
“It is hard to say why we played so poorly.
“I just don’t think we played enough rugby when we were in their half and we weren’t positive enough going forward.
“We didn’t stick to the structures that we put in place during the week.
“And it was just the control element of the game that we were lacking on the day.”
Southend brought Andrew McClintock out of retirement for the game — as one of five changes to the team — but centre Karl Pryce missed out with injury and the Seasiders were unable to come out on top.
Stortford went in front when Bradley Burr, who was making his first start of the season, slipped when making an attempted clearance.
The ball kept low and travelled only five metres upfield.
Stortford won their resulting line-out and set up a rolling maul which resulted in Stephen Ball touching down.
Oliver Walker’s conversion made it 7-0 but Southend soon hit back with Mike Stanley charging through to set up a try for Chris Vaughan.
Burr’s conversion levelled the scores and, straight from the kick-off, Stanley sped forward again to make a try for captain James Kellard which put Southend 12-7 in front.
Burr then added a penalty to give the Seasiders a 15-7 lead at the break but, five minutes after the restart, Stortford hit back with a try from replacement Aaron Mahoney.
The home side remained on top and Mahoney soon touched down again to put them 17-15 in front.
Southend replied by ringing the changes but they made little difference and Stortford sealed their win five minutes from time when number Mark McCraith touched down.
But the resulting conversion and a late penalty were both missed, enabling the Seasiders to pick up a losing bonus point.