Woodford 40 Ruislip 25
AFTER last week's encouraging win against Westcliff, the Maroons were hoping to win on the road against a side they have traditionally had close games against.
Although the scoreline suggests a comfortable win for Woodford it was a game played by two struggling sides and badly refereed.
The game started badly for Ruislip when a deep grubber kick by fly half Phil Grehan was returned with interest by the Woodford back three who went the length of the field to score a great opening try.
Undoubtedly the Ruislip defence was caught asleep but it was a feature of the game, with the Ruislip players being far too passive in defence.
Quickly Mike Forster converted two good penalties into the wind to give the visitors the lead for the only time in the game.
The score became 8-6 after a good penalty by the Woodford fly half.
Despite playing into the wind Ruislip put some good phases of play together and were only denied by some indiscipline when a five metre penalty was reversed.
This was a key moment as a score then, 10 minutes before the break, and with the winds at their back in the second half, would have given Ruislip a real opportunity.
As it was, another try from a sloppy pass and then a penalty stretched the Woodford lead to 18-6 at half time.
Immediately after half time poor tackling allowed Woodford to make significant yardage from the kick off.
A few minutes later a well rehearsed back row move allowed the Woodford centre to stroll over.
The game was probably now lost but the heads didn't drop, as Chris West, the pick of the Ruislip players on the day, crashed through some equally poor Woodford tackling to score under the posts.
Woodford stretched their lead with a penalty but Ruislip once more replied, when, for once, they used their dominance in the scrum to launch the oposition eight back allowing number eight West to force his way over.
Woodford sealed the win with another good try and it was left to Ruislip centre Mike Forster to score a well worked try under the posts after good work from hooker Dennis Rowe.
Coach John Lacey said he was frustrated his team did not bring the same level of intensity to the game as the previous week.
"We didn't fully utilise our scrum dominance and our defence was pretty feeble, apart from a few big hits from Wayne Blumerick," he complained.
"We need to get far more confrontational because Bury St Edmunds this week are obviously pretty tasty, as they beat Staines on Saturday."
The seconds were very unlucky to lose on their travels to National League side Cambridge.Two pushover tries by a strong pack featuring Nobby Adnett, Brad Lytton and youngster Charlie Doyle in the front row were not enough to give the visitors a win. Surprisingly, the thirds lost their unbeaten record when they didn't use their speedier backs against a solid Old Verulamians seconds. Final score: 22-19
It was left to Steve Hazell's fourths to avoid a whitewash, and they delivered with a 42-19 win over Hackney seconds.