CHINNOR’S late rally was in vain as they lost 27-25 at Southend.

However, the Thame-based side did at least secure a losing bonus point, which put them four points clear of the drop zone.

Chinnor led 13-3 and then trailed 27-13 on 66 minutes before tries from centres Jack Hayes and Matt Goode gave them hope.

Fly half Will Millett converted the first, but missed the second, which would have earned his side a draw.

Milltt scored and converted Chinnor’s opening try on 12 minutes.

Fly half Bradley Burr slotted a penalty for Southend, but Millett landed two himself as Chinnor led 13-3 at half-time.

Things turned around in the second half, with Chinnor starting to make mistakes at critical times as the pressure from the home side increased.

With Southend’s scrum starting to cause Chinnor problems, No 9 Harry Branch nipped in for their first try on 49 minutes, Burr converting.

More pressure saw wing Daniel Cleare pierce the Chinnor are all in the visitors defence to put Southend ahead for the first time in the match, Burr’s converting for 17-3.

Chinnor scrum half Frank Jones was then yellow carded for inappropriate language, allowing Burr to slot a penalty.

A neat passage of play saw Southend full back Mark Billings cut back through the defence to score under the posts. Burr converted.

Chinnor suddenly came to life and Goode had a try disallowed for a double movement.

This setback further stimulated Chinnor and Hayes went over for Milett to convert on 70 minutes.

Southend had Cleare sin-binned before Goode dotted down in the 79th minute for Chinnor’s third try.

Millett’s narrowly missed conversion from the touchline proved the final action.