Unbeaten HSOB top in club rugby

Linwood "win" Crying Towel

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 18:15 25/05/2013

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High School Old Boys won the top of the table clash, Linwood retained the Crying Towel and University picked up just their second win of the year in an eventful eighth round of club rugby action today.

High School Old Boys took the DCL Shield and the top of the table position off Sydenham with a 31-20 win.

Young first-five Fletcher Smith scored 21 points in the win, but Old Boys' big scrum and more organised and penetrating back-line made the big difference.

Sydenham led 15-8 at halftime, but Old Boys were dominant in the second spell and deserved their win.

Linwood started the season with a hiss and a roar while Christchurch have spluttered through the opening seven rounds in what has been a disappointing centenary season.

But Christchurch today won their grudge match with Linwood 26-20 at Christchurch Park sending Linwood back to Linfield Park with the Crying Towel.

Like Christchurch, University have been well below their best this season, but took a top four scalp today, beating Sumner 26-20 at St Leonard's.

It's just the students' second win of the season and while they're still stuck in 11th in the 12-team competition, the win will do the side's confidence the world of good.

Last year Burnside had plenty of luck, winning two games in the dying seconds.

This year, the defending champions have struggled through injury, a couple of player departures and from simply not playing as well.

Today they had luck against them too.

With 20 minutes to go they trailed New Brighton 32-22 and with time up they were still down 39-34.

They got over the line to score what would have been the match-winning try - their sixth of the match - only for referee Gareth Reed to call the play back for a forward pass.

Lincoln University thumped Shirley 42-12 to move into fourth place while Marist Albion scored six tries and their forwards dominated in their 40-6 win over Belfast.

RESULTS: HSOB* 31 Sydenham 20, New Brighton 39 Burnside 34, Christchurch 26 Linwood 20, University 18 Sumner 13, Marist Albion 40 Belfast 6, Lincoln University 42 Shirley 12.

*HSOB win the DCL Shield

POINTS (after eight rounds): HSOB 32, Marist Albion 30, Sydenham 28, Lincoln University 26, New Brighton 26, Sumner 24, Linwood 20, Christchurch 16, Shirley 15, Burnside 13, University 11, Belfast 1,

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