LONDON TWO NORTH Ruislip 22 Woodford 12
Ruislip did enough in the first half to rack up their seventh win from nine home games as they survived a poor second half display against mid-table rivals Woodford.
Tries from Stuart Hofstetter, James Hedger and a maiden score for Dave Sarney took the Maroons 22-0 clear at the interval and several other chances were spurned too.
Woodford, who beat Ruislip 40-25 back in October, staged something of a comeback in the second period and although they never looked like winning the game, coach John Lacey was far from happy with his team's overall display.
"I was annoyed by our performance, we created numerous opportunities but didn't capitalise," he said. "Some of our rugby in the first half was very good but our second half performance was poor with wrong options taken and some of our skills letting us down badly. Woodford were their for the taking today but we let them off the hook."
The Essex club came into the game with a chance of overtaking Ruislip if they won this clash and their game in hand but Ruislip started well and soon took the lead.
Hofstetter underlined the fine season he is enjoying by touching down for the opening try and Phil Grehan increased the lead with a penalty. The hosts made the most of a firm pitch, playing good, fluid rugby and they were rewarded with a fine second score by Hedger following a lovely break by Joe Grehan and at that point Ruislip's only concerns were a rather shaky scrum and their lateral running which meant at least two good opportunities went begging.
Sarney impressed in the centre and he rounded off the half in some style with a great charge up the middle to notch his first try for the team.
Playing up the slope and into a strong sun, however, was a different matter.
Ruislip were frankly poor. Wrong options were consistently taken and the line-out malfunctioned badly for a while, allowing Woodford into the game and an interception try got them on the score board.
Both JP Greyling, back at scrum half for the day, and Hedger crossed the line but failed to ground the ball before Woodford completed the scoring with a second try.
Greyling, standing in for concussed skip-per Adam Cristol, added: "I was pleased that the boys did enough to send hooker Dennis Rowe back to New Zealand with a win.
"Dennis has done a great job for us in the front row over the past two seasons and we will certainly miss him, on and off the field."
* The Twos lost a tough battle 24-17 to league leaders Tring on Saturday while the Threes, confirmed as league champions this weekend, recorded a comfortable 45-24 win over Barnes IV.
* Ruislip U17s overcame a poor start to ease past Reading 48-13 and give themselves a boost for forthcoming league games and the National Cup Quarter-finals.
Having claimed a scrappy win against Tring the previous weekend, Ruislip were again a long way off their best in the opening 10 minutes during which weak tackling and positional naivety allowed Reading in for a penalty and two unconverted tries.
However, they pulled themselves together and Sam Lunnon scored a hat-trick of tries and Callum Hennessey, Joe Nolan, Conor Andrews, Liam Clancy and Alfie Lacey picked up one apiece, with Sam Hainsworth (3) and Kieran Leyton landing four conversions to complete the scoring.
The team hosts Harpenden in a league fixture at 11am on Sunday. [25a0] The U14s came through a tough battle to earn their first ever win over Marlow.
They started poorly, spilling passes and conceding yardage and possession, but the defence held firm and gradually they gained ground before Ian Rowe made a decisive break, shaking off tacklers to score out wide which Jack Knights did well to convert.
The hosts continued to pound the Maroons defence and when Ruislip countered the tackling from Marlow was awesome,leaving Ruislip relieved to be 7-0 ahead at the break.
It was a similar story in the second half as the defence remained resolute,while lock Matt Coker made some fine runs, as did Abbas Alladad on the wing.
Tom Ward looked right at home on his debut at prop but it was Coker who sealed the win, finally breaching the Marlow line to make it 12-0.