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Lowe blows give UCS Old Boys another boost in survival bid

17:57 03 March 2014

Alex Lowe. Pic: Nick Cook/UCS Old Boys

Alex Lowe. Pic: Nick Cook/UCS Old Boys

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UCS continue to battle bravely against the drop in London Division Two North-West after winning 32-24 away HAC and picking up a bonus point.

The Old Boys lost their first 13 games of the season and suffered a 10-point deduction, but they have gone on to win three of their last five games, and Saturday’s five-point haul has left them 12 points from safety.

UCS were under the cosh for the first 10 minutes, surviving two missed penalties and then eventually conceding the first try.

However, the kick-off gave the visitors a chance to pin HAC in their own half, and Alex Lowe converted a penalty before Chris Oulton touched down under the posts.

The lead was short-lived as UCS gave a penalty away from the restart, leaving the scores tied at 10-10 – but UCS took control of the first half and a period of prolonged pressure culminated in a well-worked try as Dom Rollo-Walker got in behind the defence and passed to Alex Lowe, who scored and then converted to put his side 17-10 up at the break.

The second half began badly as Lowe’s failed chip was gathered gratefully by the quick HAC winger, who showed a clean pair of heels to run in from the halfway line for a converted try which tied the scores again.

UCS regrouped and some good running from the forwards forced another penalty, which Lowe converted – but HAC then got on top and, after a few phases, the hosts got a converted try which gave them a 24-20 lead.

In previous games, the Old Boys’ heads would have dropped, but not on this occasion.

UCS came back strongly, keeping the ball well and looking threatening with some good running from James May, Damir Jovanovic and James Boyde.

In the backs, Dan Hastings and Lowe were combining well to spread the ball wide effectively, and the spirit in the side was epitomised by Dave Myers, who beautifully fielded a potentially dangerous HAC clearance kick, staking his claim for the No15 jersey.

Good kicking pinned HAC back in their own half and, after a few phases from the UCS forwards, some great handling in the backs allowed Tom Loughnan to go over in the corner. Lowe was unable to convert, but UCS now led 25-24 with less than 10 minutes to go.

Far from just holding on, the visitors started to look even more impressive in attack, with Lowe and Jovanovic looking particularly dangerous with ball in hand – and Lowe crashed over with the last play of the game to score his second try, extend the winning margin and grab a bonus point.

UCS Old Boys: Lowe, A, Loughnan, Oulton, Rollo-Walker, Lowe E (Jayne), Hastings, O’Dwyer, Henk, Klimov, Myers (Dowding), May, Boyde, Trotter (Boulden), Zabci, Jovanovic

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