LONDON TWO NORTH Ruislip 10 Chingford 24
RUISLIP are almost certain to finish in mid-table after losing a fourth successive clash with bogey side Chingford.
The Maroons were hoping to bounce back from last week's disappointing defeat at struggling Westcliff but not even home advantage could inspire them as the Essex visitors withstood Ruislip's early second half revival before stretching clear to claim a 24-10 win.
With three games to go Ruislip would have to pull something major out of the bag if they are to improve on their current sixth place, given that they still have to play top four teams Diss and Civil Service.
Chingford arrived in Middlesex hoping to overtake Ruislip and move into fifth spot and from the start the game was played with pace and aggression.
It did not take long for the Chingford midfield to split the home defence and put the full back over for a well worked try, although Ruislip were quickly back in the game with a penalty from stand-in kicker Joe Grehan.
Commitment was high from both sides and after 15 minutes a visiting prop and Garth Hall were sin-binned for their involvement in a lengthy fracas.
Both sides were playing good rugby but Ruislip needed to take advantage of the slope and strong wind.
They created some half chances but they struggled to overcome Chingford's physicality in midfield and the visitors stretched their lead to 12-3 on the stroke of half-time.
Ruislip started the second half strongly with the forwards producing good ball and after a few minutes a great charging run by Jud Robbins created space for returning winger Luke Batty to score a good try under the posts, with the conversion taking the hosts to within two points of the Essex visitors.
However, Ruislip's chances of further progress were dealt a significant blow when influential fly half JP Greyling was carried off with an ankle injury.
Replacement Dave Sarney then quickly picked up a injury and Chingford's the skilful substitute full back took advantage of a tired and hobbling home defence to create two decisive tries.
Coach Dave Samuel said: "I rated Chingford as one of the best sides we have played this season - they were very sharp in the backs and had more presence than us.
"We created some good opportunities but struggled to close them out.
"It was a tough battle but hopefully the lads can deliver the same level of commitment against Enfield in the cup next weekend."
* The second XV also lost at home to Old Albanians, 22-14, despite James Hedger and Tish Edwards giving them a 14-0 lead, as poor tacking allowed the visitors to hit back.