Sudbury bounced back with a superb performance to hold second in the table and unbeaten Chingford to a 29-29 draw on Saturday.
The game was finely balanced throughout and the draw was a fair result.
Sudbury matched the visitors in the set pieces with both scrums and lineouts being taken on their own ball.
The performance at the breakdown was much better and for the first time this season they managed to create space for the runners, and as a result were rewarded with four tries and a bonus point.
Sudbury played the first half down the slope and returned the kick into the Chingford half and were awarded a penalty from the first action of the game.
After 10 minutes of play, the visitors mounted their first meaningful attack and scored through the standoff after their backs handled the ball well to stretch the Sudbury defence.
Chingford scored again from the restart, once again using their backs to test the Blues defence.
Sudbury rallied and had a good opportunity to score from a break by Henry Cowling, but knocked on.
Now in the 22 they maintained the pressure to score from short range following a charge by Alex Zahid.
Chingford kept pushing but could not break the Sudbury defence and started to show a little frustration, giving away two silly penalties and handing the momentum back to the hosts.
Sudbury again knocked on in an attacking position when their backs stretched their legs, but Shaun Smith eventually scored after a good period of pressure in the opposition’s 22 to level the scores with only two minutes of the half remaining.
But, once again, Chingford scored from the restart to take the lead at half-time.
Sudbury started the second half well and scored 10 minutes in from a penalty lineout 10 metres out, and the catch and drive moved the maul over the line for the points.
Chingford again showed their frustration when they were awarded a penalty in a scoring position in front of the Sudbury posts, but became overzealous and had the penalty reversed, letting the home side off the hook.
At this point it looked as though the game might not be completed when the referee needed treatment for a leg injury and was struggling to keep up with play, but after a five-minute break he was able to carry on.
Chingford extended their lead with a penalty but Sudbury replied with a try from Frazer Beckett, who ran round the defence, and Tom Summers added the extra two points to give Sudbury the lead.
Again the visitors replied immediately, with a move from the restart with their number eight forcing his way over.
In time added on Beckett scored again, this time from a run starting in his own 22 and ending 80 metres later with a fine solo try to delight the large crowd and bring the scores level.
The last couple of minutes were played out in a tense atmosphere, but the final whistle signalled a draw which was a fair reflection of the game.
n Sudbury RFC welcome international referee Wayne Barnes to Whittome Field to referee two Under-12s games this Sunday.
Barnes will be accompanied by ex-Bath and Wales coach Rolly Williams, who will be coaching some of the children during the season, while a question and answer session with Barnes will be held in the clubhouse after the games.
This opportunity for the club is the result of a bid at a charity auction for the Funding Neuro charity by Mark and Angela Lawrence, and they have generously asked the club to host the event.
The club will be remembering Daisy Brooks on the day, a child of one of Sudbury’s past players, who died of a rare brain tumour aged seven.
The event is open to all and is a chance to meet some of the high profile names of the game in person.