Lethal Lanciano ensures flying finish to arrest losing streak
Matson 25 North Bristol 24
VINCE Lanciano’s second try stole last-gasp victory for Matson, stemming a two-game Western Counties North losing streak.
Ryan Woodhouse also plundered a try double as the Redwell Road men edged a spiky and engaging battle.
After a nervy first quarter the visitors drew first blood. Matson compounded a cheap knock-on by conceding a scrum penalty – and North Bristol stole home after a quick tap.
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After two penalty lineouts Matson then profited from a quickly-taken penalty of their own.
Joe Stokes whipped an astute long pass to Woodhouse, who outwitted the defence for an unconverted try.
More loose Matson play handed North their second score though, this time converted.
The visitors held the upper hand until the break – but crucially Matson did not concede again.
And when Woodhouse grabbed his second score after the turnaround the hosts scented a comeback.
A professional foul cost North Bristol a man to the sin-bin. Matson drove across the line but were held up.
But then Lanciano scored from the resulting scrum, with Aaron Fowke converting to hand Matson a 17-14 lead.
North Bristol and Fowke then traded penalties to keep Matson three points ahead.
Another quick-tap penalty caught Matson napping – and the resulting converted try wrestled back the lead for the visitors.
But just when Matson were starting to worry an outrageous dummy from Lanciano sealed his second try, the bonus point and victory.