Luton 22 pts Luctonians 25

LUCTONIANS travelled to Luton for the first time and came away satisfied with the two points in Powergen Midlands 1 but disappointed somewhat by the manner of their victory.

Going in to the final quarter with a comfortable 22-3 lead, they leaked a succession of soft tries and were relieved to hear final whistle .

The first half stuttered along disrupted with an inordinate number of penalties and two yellow cards for each side.

For the first 20 minutes neither team showed much shape or enterprise with defences very much in the ascendancy.

When Luton fly-half Anthony Lintern put his side ahead with a 15th-minute penalty, however, Luctonians were galvanised into more purposeful action.

Darren Brick stole possession at a Luton lineout and the ball was moved right for left-wing Andy Garrod, who had drifted across, to score in the corner.

Luctonians added a second try in injury time when centre James Owen, who had a sound match, made a break down the left and Garrod was in support to take the inside pass and score.

A fine touchline conversion by full-back Jeremy Wheadon saw Luctonians 12-3 in front at half-time.

Ten minutes into the second half Garrod completed his hat-trick when Wheadon joined the line to release him on the left. Prop Steve Jaques added a fourth try when he popped up in the line to take an inside pass and, with 20 minutes left and an 18-point lead, Luctonians were cruising.

But Luton had clearly not read the script and quickly hit back when scrum-half Kevin Crump nipped over from a tapped penalty as the visitors' defence casually ambled back.

Lintern added the extra points and Luton soon scored again when winger Simon Philby intercepted a loose pass inside the Luctonians' 22 and crossed near the posts.

The Lintern conversion put Luton very much back in the match and when Luctonians were awarded a penalty Wheadon opted for goal and his kick provided the three points that finally separated the sides.

Luton were not finished however, and another lax moment by the Luctonians defence saw the home side take a quick throw at a lineout for James Pearce to score his side's final try.

The conversion brought Luton to within three points and Lintern had the opportunity to level the scores at the final whistle but his kick drifted wide and Luctonians had survived.