A determined Stanford squad travelled up the A13 to face old foes Barking in the quarter final of the Essex U17s Cup. Playing on the Barking 1st team pitch the lads from Stanford played some superb rugby. Stanford had a dream start with a well gathered kick off and good passing between forwards and backs. Stanford’s youngsters worked their way up the field and flanker Arri Pike scurried over for the first try of the game. Adam Ward slotted over the kick with a well taken conversion. Straight from the next kick off Stanford again moved the ball swiftly and the backs linked up and centre Michael Kite
out sprinted his opposite man to score. Ward again converted and the red men of Stanford were 14 - 0 with just 5 mins on the clock.
Barking rallied and tried to put more pressure on the visiting backs and an uncharacteristic misunderstanding between Jared Gounden
and Luke Dawson
saw the Barking winger scoop up the ball and score in the corner.
This woke the Stanford side up again and the forwards took charge with some powerful driving mauls. A deft kick from Adam Ward gave Stanford good field position and Barking did well to hold out the attacks. Barking succumbed to the pressure and gave away a penalty. The Stanford side took it well and after two phases of quick ball Thomas Tressider popped the ball to Adam Ward who stepped inside two players and scored near the posts. He converted his try and the visitors were ahead 21-5. Another score from Stanford’s centre Michael Kite
finished off the half to stretch the lead to 26-5. Unfortunately, both sides lost players though injury with Stanford’s James Wade leaving the field with a twisted knee and Barking losing two of their players. Stanford lent two players to Barking and Wade was replaced by Jack Egar
In the second half Barking put together some good attacks but the visitors were determined not to allow another score with Ndaba Chagoboza, Ebenezer Daniels and Arri Pike all making try saving tackles. Daniels, on the wing also scored a try out wide and Michael Kite
got his hatrick to complete Stanford’s day to make the final score 36 – 5.
Stanford U17s have earned themselves an excellent semi-final date with Woodford RFC in April after Woodford beat Dagenham 24-7 in the other quarter final. The lads have earned a well-earned beak over Christmas and will resume Essex League duty in January.