SOUTH Woodham Ferrers suffered a fourth defeat in succession, losing 44-12 to table-topping Chingford.

The setback kept Woodham second from bottom in the London One North standings but captain Warren Duggan was keen to remain upbeat.

“In the previous two games we may have deserved to go down to such a big score but that was not the case at the weekend,” said Duggan.

“The team played with more passion and intensity than we have seen for some weeks and who knows what may have been possible if we had been able to field a full strength side.

“There were some very strong performances across the whole side.

“Man of the match Ross Noakes had another stormer of a game.

“Alex Baker grew into his latest role at fly-half and a very special mention has to made for the evergreen Harvey Witzer who, at 50 plus, has to be one of the oldest player to have played at such a high level.”

Woodham had 19 players injured or unavailable for Saturday’s clash and were therefore expecting a testing clash against an unbeaten Chingford side.

Despite their difficulties, Woodham started brightly before finding themselves 10-0 behind as Chingford’s clinical finishers punished some lapses in the home side’s defensive line.

Woodham recovered well and were soon on the attack driving hard into a strong Chingford defence.

As the game ebbed and flowed, Woodham’s first real scoring opportunity came when Duggan intercepted a loose pass to race to within 10 metres of the Chingford line but there was not enough support to capitalise on his run.

Two more tries from the well organised Chingford attack might have been the signal for the Woodham team’s heads to drop but this was not the case and they looked the stronger side as the first half drew to a close.

And their efforts were rewarded when Duggan again intercepted a loose pass and raced in to score with a spectacular dive over the line to cut the visitors’ lead to 22-5 at the break.

Chingford started the second half with another score but Woodham hit back and enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure which resulted in three yellow cards for the visiting team.

Woodham made their numerical advantage count with a try from Neil Gittos which was converted by Alex Baker.

However, Chingford eventually got back on top and scored three times in quick succession to seal their ninth successive victory which saw them move eight points clear at the top.

Woodham will now be looking to get back to winning ways when they head to ninth placed Ruislip this weekend.