London One North
Eton Manor 30 Luton 7
Luton Rugby suffered their first London One North defeat of 2013 as three second-half tries from Eton Manor settled a match that was heavily disrupted by the muddy condition of the pitch, writes Stephen Richards.
Luton showed promise in the opening few minutes but the hosts soon took control territorially and Ben Thomas kicked a penalty on 17 minutes to open the scoring.
He repeated the feat four minutes later to make it 6-0 and despite signs of Luton finding their feet in the game, they were unable to break through a resilient backline as Thomas successfully kicked his third penalty.
Each of the penalties were cheaply given away and that was the only telling difference between the sides in the first half.
Five minutes after the interval, Rik Hobbs missed the chance to register Luton’s first points of the day when he missed with a penalty.
It only took a further three minutes though for Luton to fight their way back in the match as Tom Mahendran’s pass following a ruck, found Jack Elston who picked out Steven Ellis and he raced through to score a well-deserved try.
Hobbs’ successful conversion pulled the score back to 9-7.
Luton’s attempted comeback sparked Eton Manor to step up a gear and shortly scored two quick-fire tries to put them in the ascendancy.
The first came on 55 minutes from Michael Eghan following some territorial pressure and then the second was two minutes later after a fast break from Davy Hanna.
Both conversions were successful to send Eton Manor 23-7 ahead with 23 minutes remaining.
Time was not on Luton’s side and Eton Manor’s defence showed no signs of weakening.
The visitors were simply unable to respond and a final try from the home side through Garth Tucker five minutes from time proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
Thomas maintained his 100 per cent record of kicking in the match to complete the afternoon’s scoring at 30-7.
Luton remain sixth in London One North and return to action next Saturday in the re-arranged fixture at home to Brentwood.
Luton: Pacey, Murphy, Blinkhorn, Nelly, Rodell, Kay, Elston ©, Weston, Mahendran, Wilmore, Hobbs, Ellis, Kenny, Edwards, Affleck. Subs: Irvine, Harris, Hammond.