Date: Sat 10th Feb 2018
Essex Intermediate Cup Semi Final
After a disappointing start to the new year Harlow 1st XV found the attacking determination they had shown in the first half of the season. The visitors tried to make ground with high kicks into the Harlow half but were met with clean catching and counter attacks. The return of Ryan McGlone at full back made a big difference in this area.
Wanstead kicked off taking play deep into the Harlow half but were met by Harlow pressure taking play to midfield. Wanstead conceded several penalties and 10 minutes into the game Roberts called on fly half Danny Smith to have a shot at goal. Despite rain and a difficult crosswind he put it between the uprights for a three – nil lead to Harlow. The weather conditions made it difficult to play open rugby but Harlow had the best of the play for most of the time. In particular their tackling was committed. On 26 minutes Harlow winger Will Grimley produced the move of the match. Wansted kicked downfield to clear their lines. Grimley caught cleanly and made a solo run, sidestepping the Wansted fullback to run in an excellent try near the corner. Smith just missed the conversion, a good effort in the condition but Harlow had an 8 – 0 lead which they defended to half time.
Wansted started the second half with determination running at Harlow, ball in hand. For much of the third quarter Harlow were called on to tackle hard and kick to clear their lines. Wanstead came close to scoring with a penalty but the crosswind just took it wide. Harlow from a penalty of their own kicked for position and then full back McGlone forced his way over for Harlow’s second try and a 13 – 0 margin. With 20 minutes to go the Harlow prospects became stronger when a Wanstead forward was red carded for violent play. The extra man advantage meant that the home scrum were able to keep play in the visitors half for more of the time and give their backs better possession to work with. The margin was even greater when another Wanstead player received a yellow forcing them to play out almost all the game with 13 men. With 8 minutes to go the Harlow pack won the ball and moved it out to Grimley who ran in for his second try and an 18 – 0 Harlow lead. In the closing two minutes Wanstead finally got on the scoreboard with a try in the corner making it an 18 – 5 win to Harlow.
The win takes Harlow through to the cup final against Romford on the 21st April at Ilford Rugby club.
Next weekend fifth placed Harlow return to League duty when they entertain 11th placed Woodford at Latton Park.
Tries: Will Grimley (2), Ryan McGlone.
Penalty: Danny Smith
Team: 1. Scott Stalley, 2. Martin Mallia, Paul Prindiville, 4. Karl Rodell, 5. Adam Seeley, 6. Shaun Roberts (capt.), 7. James Clark, 8. Michael Weston, 9. Charlie Woodington, 10. Danny Smith, 11. Will Grimley, 12. Chay Clark, 13, Scott Whitby, 14. Dale Stalley, 15. Ryan McGlone, 16. Rhys Whitby, 17. Alfie Clark. 18. Kerry Palmer