A late try from Alex Brown saw Old Elthamians secure a hard fought victory at Grantchester Road and keep the pressure on at the top of the National One table.

The OEs winger raced over with just four minutes remaining of this compelling contest after great interplay from Tom White and Dom Lespierre to give the visitors a narrow three-point lead going into the closing stages.

In a frantic finish, Cambridge drove to the edge of the OEs 22 and battered away at the wall of white shirts but could find no way through another exceptional defensive effort from Elthamians.

It was a thrilling end to a game between two well-matched sides who kept up a fast and furious tempo throughout and moved the ball around at every opportunity.

With White pulling the strings at fly-half, Elthamians made the early running and were rewarded with the opening try after only five minutes. Strong work from Ben King and Lespierre moved Elthamians from their own 22 deep into Cambridge territory, allowing White to send a clever chip over the defence into the arms of full-back Charlie Dockery who bounced through one tackle and dived over in the corner.

Cambridge fought back with two penalties from the boot of fly-half Laurence Rayner and then opened up an 11-5 lead with their first try of the game in the 34th minute. A driven lineout was brought down a metre short of the OEs try line, but winger Sam Yawayawa was on hand to to dive over the top of the ensuing ruck and touch down.

A penalty from White cut the deficit to three points at the interval and then Elthamians took the lead 10 minutes into the second period. A catch and drive from a lineout on the edge of the Cambridge 22 saw the OEs pack crash over the line and after consultation with his assistant, referee Callum Howard awarded the try to lock Fred Hosking.

But again Cambridge hit back and enjoyed their best period of the game midway through the half, regaining the lead with two penalties by replacement Jack Green on 64 and 73 minutes.

However, there was a further twist to this contest as Elthamians saved their best for the last of their three tries. Awarded a penalty from a driven lineout in the Cambridge 22, they played the advantage, patiently working the ball through a number of phases before White’s long miss pass was superbly tipped down by Lespierre into the arms of Brown who charged over for the match-winning score.