Date: Sat 19th Nov 2016
Defensive stand keeps Red Men top
Harlow won their fourth Essex derby in row when they beat Upminster 22-3 on an emotional day at Ram’s Gorse.
Ahead of kick off Harlow held a minutes silence and applause for Colin Jenkins and Dean Read, who died tragically two weeks ago.
Playing up the hill in the first half, Harlow had to weather a series of early attacks from the away team. Despite good territory and possession, Upminster’s forwards were unable to break through the Harlow line before the ball was cleared up field.
After 10 minutes Harlow gained a foothold in the match. Going through the phases the men in red moved the ball wide and forced Upminster back. However, the attack squealed to a halt when right wing, Scott Whitby, knocked on with the try line beckoning.
The next ten minutes were nip and tuck with neither team able to gain the ascendancy. However, both converted easy penalty chances to leave the score three all with 20 minutes gone.
It wasn’t until the thirty fifth minute that the deadlock was broken. Good line speed from the Harlow defence forced Upminster to kick from their own 22. Mackie took the high ball cleanly despite pressure from the three defenders. The ball was recycled and moved to wide to Whitby who screeched round his opposite man before drawing the last defender and putting Weston away to score the first try of the match. Smith missed the conversation to leave the score 8-3 at half time.
Harlow started the second half strongly, immediately taking advantage of the slope to put Upminster under pressure. A good rolling maul from the forwards drew in the Upminster defence before the ball was moved to the backs. An excellent pass from Smith allowed Whitby to scream through the defence before he passed to Tarsey who scored under the posts. 15-3.
The rest of the half followed a similar pattern. The away team resorted to kicking for position and then for goal to try and make inroads into the home team’s lead but good Harlow defence meant that Upminster never looked like scoring.
Harlow score their final try with another well worked move and brought any chance of a Upminster fight back to a screeching halt. Again, good work from the forwards set the platform before Whitby was put through a gap to score a well deserved try to the right of the posts. Smith converted to make the final score 22-3.
Director of Rugby, Lee Harron said: “We’re delighted with the result. It’s been an emotional couple of weeks and the club should be proud of how we’ve all come together.”
Looking ahead to next week, Man of the Match, Scott Whitby whooped: “We’ve got a big away trip next week so we need to get our preparation right.”
Try scores: Weston, Tarsey, Whitby
Conversions: Smith (2)
Team: Ephgrave, Bowering, Christie, Twiner, Quinn, Roberts, Weston, Claridge, Woodington, Mcglone, Smith, Stalley, Tarsey, Whitby, Mackie, Cunningham, Heapy, Lynch