LUCTONIANS remain six points clear at the summit of National League 2 West after overcoming fourth placed Exeter University 28-21.

In a week dominated by the rain that fell in Herefordshire, Luctonians would have expected to have the upper hand in a game against the Students, but found them tough opponents.

The hosts went ahead after 12 minutes when Josh Nott in his debut outing at flyhalf, fired a cut out pass wide to Owien Harriot-and then Josh Watkins who sprinted for the line, converted by Owen Randell.

Just three minutes later Exeter hit back when full-back Billy Kucera made an incisive break and following a series of drives No 6 Tirion Bowen scored in the corner. 

The visitors then took charge and following a series of scrum penalties and some uncharacteristic, poor home defence, Jack Park fed an inside pass to a runner following a ruck.

That pass drew the defender and released left winger, Campbell Ridly to score under the posts. Park converted to take the lead.

Exeter finished off a good first half with a penalty by Jack Park to lead 7-15 at the break.

There must have been some strong words spoken by the Luctonians coaches because the home side came out of the changing rooms fired up.

Within two minutes of the re-start Nott switched the direction of play from a ruck and put left wing, James Wheeler through a gap.

Wheeler in turn found the scoring machine that is Charlie Grimes for a try under the posts which again Randall converted to reduce their deficit to one point.

This was followed up 10 minutes later with a converted try for Rob Aikman after Lucs were able to string some much needed phases together in the Students 22m for his side to go 21-15 ahead.

For the next 20 minutes Exeter took charge again and had the advantage of numerous penalties that Luctonians gave away around the breakdown. 

For all the visiting sides pressure and territory the home side's defence held and limited the Students to two Park penalties which drew them level.

The hosts were on the rocks and they were reduced to 14 men when Whiteman was sent to the bin.

However, this seemed to galvanise the home team who on winning their first scrum penalty, kicked into the corner and from the resulting lineout they drove over for Ben Link to touchdown under a pile of bodies. Randall in his first start at scrum half finished a perfect kicking display with the conversion to win 28-21.

Exeter will leave Mortimer Park feeling that it was a game they should have won, having played with both skill and passion on a heavy pitch that technically should not suit them.

The win sets up the home match in a fortnight's time against second placed Dings Crusaders.

However, first Luctonians face a trip to second from bottom Newport (Shropshire) this weekend.