Bancroft 27 - 14 H&D
On a pleasant sunny afternoon H&D travelled to Buckhurst Hill to play Bancroft RUFC in a top of the table clash.
After the initial exchanges the game settled down to which set of forwards could look after the ball and exert pressure. The first try was from the home team, whose forwards were very physical and challenged their visitors in every aspect of the game. This led to the first five pointer of the day, which was successfully converted. Harwich rugby responded to this set back very well. Going through the phases, keeping possession and exerting pressure. The forwards were working well, so it fell to one of the top performers, prop Harley Hema, to smash through several defenders and get over the line. Goal kicker Damien Smith, who had been polishing his boots all week, made the conversion look easy, to bring the scores level. Unfortunately for Harwich they were put under pressure as their hosts took the game to them through their strong forwards. A penalty was given and converted giving Bancroft's a 10 - 7 lead. Bouncing back, the visitors went on the attack, getting over the line through hooker Jack Cairns but he was unable to ground the ball, being held up. Energised by this partial success Harwich kept the pressure on, so it was not long before full back Adam Eldridge, back form his university studies for the weekend, made it over the whitewash for a try. Smith’s shiney boots slotted the conversion putting H & D in front,
10 - 14. Bancroft’s again applied pressure resulting in influential fly half, Sean Mills, being sin binned for a deliberate knock-on. The penalty was kicked leaving the score at half time, Bancroft 13 - Harwich & Dovercourt 14.
The second half started with the home team piling on the pressure against the 14 men of Harwich. Finding gaps in the defence Bancroft’s scored an early try, which was converted, giving them the lead. Harwich tried to rally but found stiff resistance from their hosts. Even with the return of Mills, who worked tirelessly to steer his team around the park, the visitors could not find the space and support to finish off their moves. Following a well constructed attack winger Adam Palmer was able to get the ball over the line but it was knocked out of his hand before he could ground it, so the chance went begging. This was the closest Harwich would get to scoring in the second half. Unfortunately their hosts were able to mount a successful attack, scoring the bonus point try, which they converted. Harwich were held scoreless in the second half and the game ended, Bancroft RUFC 27 - Harwich & Dovercourt 14.
It is a rest week for Harwich rugby next week, but the following week, Saturday 4th March, they are at home to Pegasus Palmerians