On a bright and sunny day the U’s were determined to lay some ghosts to rest from last season’s disappointment, and were perhaps a little over eager in the early exchanges.
To be honest both teams appeared a little nervous but after weathering some early pressure Upminster kicked long and were able to exert some pressure of their own.
The first score came after 10 minutes when Sam scored out wide, converted by George. Rochford came back in to the game with a converted penalty but were being put under a huge amount of pressure whenever they had the ball in hand, forcing them into mistakes, which Upminster were eager to capitalise on.
Further tries followed from Blaine and Jimi, the latter converted by George, as the boys took a 19-3 lead with half time approaching. By this time it was clear that the pace and speed of hand that Upminster possessed was going to prove too much for the significantly bigger opposition.
Rochford were struggling to cope with the expansive game and as U’s support play and running lines began to pay dividends, the boys ran in two further tries from Michael and Owen on the stroke of half time, both converted by Jamie.
The second half followed a similar pattern. Both teams used their whole squad on rotation ensuring all the boys got game time. Rochford, to their credit, never gave up but were never able to get back into the game.
Sam added his second of the game, converted by Jamie before Rochford scored a well deserved try of their own when U’s were reduced to 13 men following two sin binnings. However, even with 13 players U’s were able to add further scores from Jimi and Harrison before Rochford scored another of their own.
However Upminster were to have the final word as two further tries from George and a fantastic effort from Louie put the seal on an excellent performance.
There were eight different try scorers on the day and it would be fair to say that not one of those scores was an individual effort. All the scores were from accurate passing and enthusiastic support play, accompanied by a significant amount of individual excellence.
Whilst it would not be unreasonable to feel sorry for the opposition, there was not much more they could have done. The fact that the scores were from support play was testament to Rochford’s defensive effort, but on the day they could not live with the pace throughout the Upminster side.
Congratulations to the boys on a fantastic season.
A big thank you to Gavin and Darren as coaches, particularly Gavin, who will no doubt enjoy some stress free Saturday nights now that the double has been secured. (or will he????), and roll-on the tour!
Man of Match – Forwards – Charles Hammond
, Backs - Louis Wright