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Lapses prove costly as PJF surrender early lead

Jim Brannigan  Friday, April 12, 2002  10:25 GMT

Lapses prove costly as PJF surrender early lead

Old Emanuel 24 Purley John Fisher 23

Purley John Fisher's penultimate London SW Division Four game of the season proved disappointing as they lost narrowly to Old Emanuel on Saturday.

After a cracking start, Purley let themselves down at crucial moments, allowing the opposition back into a match the visitors should have won.

An strong easterly wind made conditions difficult but Purley took full advantage of being made to play with it at their backs in the first half.

They were soon into their stride and some good running rugby saw them open up a 13-point lead.

They opened with two Colin Francis penalties and, soon afterwards, their first try when Karl Wipatene stormed over in the corner. Francis added the conversion.

The wrong option at a lineout on the home side's 22 gave Old Emanuel their first score when a rather unlucky bounce off a player's foot allowed the hosts' fleet-footed winger to sprint for the line. The try, and a subsequent penalty, cut Purley's lead to just three at half-time.

Despite having the wind in their faces, Purley started the second half in bright fashion.

But their strong point, scrummaging, let them down and when a blind-side ball was easily intercepted, Old Emanuel's resultant try took them into a 17-13 lead.

Some creative play led to another try and, seemingly, an unassailable lead.

The visitors, however, replied with two well-taken tries.

The first saw a Jim Brannigan pass from a driving maul put Bob Scarborough over before CJ Wakefield scored from a set move to give his side real hope of victory.

The conversion would have given them the lead but a difficult kick missed the target and Old Emanuel managed to hold on to their single point advantage for the last five minutes.

This Saturday PJF play their last fixture of the season, an away clash against runaway league leaders Richmond.

11:27 Wednesday 10th April 2002

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