Date: Sat 25th Mar 2023
Harlow put on a champions performance in Romford on Saturday to overrun a gallant but outplayed Campion side by 96 points to nil. The visitors took advantage of their ability to break first up tackles to amass fourteen tries which were fortified by the ever reliable boot of fly half Danny Smith who converted all but one to take his personal tally to 294 points for the season.
Harlow came out of the blocks hard but due to some stubborn resistance from their hosts it took around ten minutes for the Redmen to trouble the scorers, camped in the Campion red zone, after having several tilts at the line they sensibly played open and full back Rob Macpherson Smith coming into the line finished smartly. Another ten minutes passed before Harlow scored again as an under pressure home scrum facing a red put in wheeled close to its try line giving Brad Etherington an invitation to break, the number eight gratefully accepted, snarling his way over the chalk for the score.
The dam that was the Campion defensive unit began to creak and minutes later was breached again, as a lung buster of a run from his own half by flanker Will Garner was finally halted, quick hands saw his effort rewarded as deft inside pass from Sam Bucknall saw Joel Drake scamper over to touch down. The final try bonus of this league season came soon after, keen kick chase saw a wayward clearing kick from the home side land in the hands of centre Morgan Davies who tucked the ball under his arm and crashed through a tackle to go in under the posts from about thirty five metres.
The Campion defence was now all at sea as scrum half Ben Creasey from the same distance weaved his way through on the right to dot down under the uprights closely followed by an elusive Joel Drake slipping would be tacklers to run in from half way, the hosts would have been looking for the whistle to regroup but Etherington broke another tackle attempt to rush and make the score 49-0 at the break.
As the second forty started it soon became clear that there was to be no let up by the Latton Park side with the home team on the ropes the Redmen were now relentless in their pursuit of points and it was no surprise when they scored again, from a scrum Creasey fed centre Scott Whitby who cantered into acres of space before returning the ball to Creasey who finished under the sticks unchallenged.
The next score was popular one as Garner from within his own half sensing clear air embarked on another powerful break, encouraged by the travelling support he then performed a neat show and go to make it to the line for a much merited score. Second row Bami Coker with a serious thirty metre trundle got Harlow back on the offensive and although possession was lost soon after a miss thrown Campion line out saw Garner causing havoc, before Smith and Creasey combined well to put Whitby in for the try.
Coker was again at the heart of the next try as he pierced the defensive line again, using his height well to pop a pass into the hands of the supporting Creasey who dashed away for his hat trick, the scrum half then turned supplier as he floated a well-judged miss pass to Harry Masini who finished confidently. Campion then coughed up possession in their own red zone, which Etherington punished as he shrugged off the cover to complete his hat trick of hat tricks in three consecutive games, some achievement that.
With youngster Alex Perry off the bench for an eye catching first appearance, the last try of the afternoon was a fitting way to highlight the land mark of over a thousand points scored for the season, as from a line out, Bucknall who had thrown in well all game found Garner, the ball was shifted from left wing to right through six pairs of hands to reach Masini who with double delight ended the scoring for the day. The referee sensing the mood rightly called the game to bring to an end to an unbeaten campaign of which all 34 players who have pulled on the shirt can be rightly proud