TOTTONIANS had to settle for a draw as their slick speed was cancelled out by London Cornish’s power and patience.

The two clubs had won nine games each in league encounters in recent years and both looked forward to renewing their friendly rivalry after Cornish were promoted to London 1 South.

The game, at Water Lane, soon developed a pattern that remained through the 80 minutes, producing an exciting and fair 34-34 result.

Totts ran their opponents ragged at almost every opportunity but, every time they got ahead, back came Cornish as their forwards methodically covered the same amount of ground inch by inch.

The match started with a minute’s silence for popular and lifelong clubman Pete Jarvis who lost his battle with cancer the previous week – his son Joe was playing on the wing for Totts.

The game was stopped several times in the first half as Cornish suffered three head injuries.

Totts held a 15-13 lead at the break - two Robbie Searle penalties either side a try by Mike Searle following a break by Ieuan Williams, and a sprint from the half-way line by Richard Buck for the second.

Craig Durnin raced over in the corner as Totts made the most of their superior backs but another sustained attack from Cornish forwards levelled the score again.

Once more Tottonians got themselves in the driving seat - Josh Raqio racing down the wing and Mike Searle and Luke Wilson combined to find Nick Jones who got the ball over the line. Robbie Searle converted to establish a seven-point advantage but, not for the first time, possession was handed back to Cornish and their patient pick-and-goes earned them another seven points.

Once more speed was the key to Totts’ final try with Buck and Ian Davidson setting up Mike Searle for his second of the day, converted by Robbie Searle.

Mistakes handed Cornish the chance to muscle their way to the tryline once more before play was switched to their winger for another converted try.

Cornish missed two penalty opportunities – one hit the posts – in the closing minutes as both sides settled for the draw and three points each.

Totts coach Gavin Hart said he and his squad were disappointed not to have gone on to claim victory.

He said: “At the end of the day we shared the points – it’s not a loss but it always feel as if it is a loss. We are a little disappointed but the guys will take the positives from that.”

Havant protected third place in the table with a 33-14 home win over Chobham.