Upminster were seeking a 6th straight win at home on Saturday but knew Billericay were going to be a stern test. This was proved within the first 10 minutes, Upminster were dominating play within the Billericay half but strong defensive play from Billericay were denying Upminster. Upminster gave away numerous penalties particularly at the breakdown and sure enough after a quick line out from Billericay which caught us napping, led to the first try being scored. It was a good strong finish from the winger and the try was unconverted.
Although Billericay had just scored, Upminster were in a confident mood having been dominant in the early stages of the first half. Upminster were able to win a penalty in the opponents half. Matt Munn expertly kicked the ball within 5 metres of the try line giving us a really good platform to attack from. Upminster set up the maul from a well taken line-out and with space appearing on the blind side George Cox peeled away and secured Upminster’s first try. Chris lamb added an excellent conversion from the touch line to make the score 7-5. The try was followed by another penalty from the Billericay team which led to Chris Lamb added another 3 points to the score. Upminster then had the bit between their teeth and started to play with expansion which led to the ball being shipped to Dan Canary who managed to fend off numerous defenders and pass the ball to Grant Lowe. From the deft hands of Grant Lowe he was able to release Luke Potter who had a lot of work to do but with space in front of him he sped away from the covering defender from 40 metres out to score. The score was un-converted by Chris Lamb to bring the score to 15-5. The remainder of the second half was littered with errors on Upminster’s part. Strong carries from the electric winger Alfie Simmonett and Jake Jones resulted in “the final pass” eluding Upminster once more. Chris Lamb was able to add another penalty but Upminster will rue on the missed opportunities. The Billericay defence was finally unlocked on the stroke of half time as Matt Munn chipped the ball over the top of the defensive line into open space, there was no covering full back and with a race to the ball Alfie Simmonett graciously allowed Matt Munn to dot the ball down in the corner. Chris Lamb converted to make the half time score 25-5.
The second half started with Upminster giving away numerous penalties, which allowed Billericay opportunities to put pressure on us at the line out in our 22. Credit to Billericay here as they worked the driving maul well to score a try which again was not converted. This led to a really good period by Billericay who again put us under pressure with Upminster’s penalty count rising. Another couple of penalties resulted in Billericay getting good ball in a dangerous area within Upminster’s 5 metre line. The building pressure eventually led to an overlap and the Billericay subsitute stepped inside well to dot down in the corner. The try was again unconverted and the score now was 25-15. Upminster seriously looked to settle the ship after period of dominance for Billericay. We simply did not have the ball for a solid 15-20 minute period and we were punished in that time. The rest of the second half was dominated by Upminster seemingly buoyed by the last Billericay try. Strong carries from the forwards in particular Grant Lowe, was rewarded with excellent field position. Numerous scrum penalties led to George Cox scoring under the posts which Chris Lamb converted to make the score 32-15 and secure the bonus point win. Upminster again showing excellent scrummaging throughout the entire game really put the Billericay forwards to the sword. The final 10 minutes was dominated by errors from both teams with Upminster trying to push for another try and Billericay managing to hold out for the final whistle.
Upminster finished the game slightly disappointed, we were grateful for the bonus point win but not happy with the display. Billericay proved to be a strong opponent and we look forward to visiting them in the new year.
MOTM- Harry Long