By Ben Alsop
Steatham-Croydon’s dreams of promotion from Surrey Division Two suffered a blow on Saturday after a poor first half performance led to a 38-25 defeat against struggling Old Emanuel.
Only a late fourth-try bonus point gave a positive end to an otherwise disappointing game for the hosts.
Moreover, Streatham missed out on the chance to close the gap on second placed Battersea Ironsides, who could only draw with Old Tobbridgians.
From the kick off Old Emanuel’s forced a mistake from Streatham at the break down which brought about the game’s first try.
Streatham responded quickly with a penalty from winger Aaron Brown but this could not spark them into life, despite dominating possession and territory.
Following strong running from Streatham’s forwards, the hosts were unable to convert numerous chances in the opposition’s 22.
And they paid the price as the visitors were clinical enough to convert three first-half tries, further compounding Streatham’s wastefulness.
Old Emanuel only ventured into Streatham’s half three times in the first half but made all three visits count.
The second half saw an improvement, as the Streatham-Croydon backline underwent some changes at half-time.
Prop Damion Darlington and second row Walter Pretorius scored tries, the latter adding to his impressive tally so far this season.
While Streatham number eight Mike Jackson score his second try by finishing off a brilliant team move, diving in at the corner to score after quick handling and incisive movement created the crucial fourth try.
While improving significantly with ball in hand, defensive frailties still showed, as each time Streatham made ground on the visitors any hope was quickly deflated by further Old Emmanuel scores.