H&D 42 - 12 Billericay
Captain George Brunning had lead his troops fantastically from the front but with two exceptional tries it was winger Adam Palmer who was awarded man of the match.
On Saturday Harwich & Dovercourt RUFC were in league action against second in the table Billericay RUFC.
The home team kicked off and won the ball, making inroads deep into the Billericay half. Unfortunately they lost the ball in a loose carry. Their opponents quickly transformed defence into attack, sweeping down the field and scoring the opening try within a couple of minutes. With the try converted it was 0 - 7 and things were not looking good for the coastal team. However Harwich settled into their game for the next fifteen minutes, gaining some territorial advantage putting the opposition defence under a lot of pressure. With the forwards winning and retaining a lot of possession, the game turned in Harwich rugby’s favour. From a rolling maul second row forward Kyran Green was able to get the ball over the line for a try, which full back Sam Male converted bringing the scores level. Slowly the home side began to dominate in the forwards giving them a lot of go forward. Inevitably this gave outstanding number 8, Simon Palmer, an opportunity, which he didn’t turn down, smashing his way over the line for the next try, giving his side the lead 12 - 7. Male just missed the conversion. Continuing to make inroads into Billericay territory, putting them under a lot of pressure, Harwich were awarded a penalty which Male slotted over, to extend the lead to 15 - 7. With time running out in the first half, Billericay showed why they were second in the table, sweeping down the field and scoring an unconverted try. Half time score Harwich 15 - Billericay 12.
Both teams struggled to find their rhythm at the start of the second half, but the home side, with their forwards working hard, began to take control of the game. Following a ruck in midfield the ball was passed back to Male who looked up and kicked across the field for left winger Adam Palmer to take an excellent catch. The catch took him past his opposite number, giving him an opportunity to make ground down the left. He had other ideas than just making ground, with a wonderful turn of speed and some good footwork he beat three covering defenders to score a wonderful try. The conversion was missed. The team seized upon this to show some confidence in looking after the ball and making ground. From a line out ten yards out the forwards, who were in almost total control, drove over the line for an unconverted try, touched down by hooker Jack Cairns. Harwich were soon back on the attack, with the backs running freely and making a lot of ground. Centre Lewis Kerley was passed the ball about 25 metres out. Running a good line and at pace he broke through the defence to score a great try. Stand off Sean J. Mills took over the kicking duties and duly made the conversion. Harwich 32 - Billericay 12. The home side were clearly the dominant side with the visitors struggling to win any ball or get into their hosts half. Harwich were awarded a kickable penalty which Mills kicked extending the lead by another three points. Some niggle had started to surface in the game, this had threatened to break out a couple of times in the second half, with both teams captains having been warned. Unfortunately following a knock on by Harwich, a fracas started. Swinging handbags resulted in Male, Cairns and a Billericay centre being red carded. Down to thirteen men the home team rallied well against the fourteen men in opposition. Arguably the best try of the game was scored in this period. Harwich won the ball at a lineout just inside their opponent's half. The ball was moved quickly out to the left wing, where Adam Palmer was waiting. Taking the ball at pace he went on a fabulous in and out run, beating several defenders and running round under the posts to score a wonderful try which Mills converted. This was the final score, giving Harwich a great win 42 - 12. Captain George Brunning had lead his troops fantastically from the front but with two exceptional tries it was winger Adam Palmer who was awarded man of the match. After the game he stated, “With more ball who knows how many I could have scored. I was a man on fire”.
Next week Harwich & Dovercourt RUFC take a break from the league to play in the National cup competition, the Junior Vase, at home against Dagenham.
Report by Jim Hayter