Date: Sat 15th Oct 2016
The Rams entertained Upminster on Saturday for round five of this seasons Merit League campaign. Following on from the narrow defeat to league leaders Thurrock, this match held a major significance to the squad if they were to be in the hunt for the top of the table position come the end of the season. A decisive victory was called for.
The visitors kicked off and were instantly put to the sword by the hard-hitting home team. James Clark returning the ball with venom before shipping it on his supporting backline. Will Grimley entered the line from fullback and sliced straight through the Upminster defence, advancing deep into their territory before passing on to the supporting Simon Vanbeck who outpaced the cover defence to go in for the first score of the day with little more than a minute on the clock.
Upminster came back strongly but The Rams weathered the brief storm before firmly taking a grip of the proceedings.
Andy Quinn stepped through the defence and accelerated into the Upminster twenty-two before committing the last defender and laying the ball off to the supporting James Clark; 14-0.
Dan Stevenson caught the ball from the next kick off. Transferred it to Quinny who drew the defence before slipping the ball to the supporting Mitchell Hodgkinson. A deft pass back inside to Alfie Clark and the defence was shattered. Clark made it to the twenty-two before finally being chased down but Stevenson was right on his shoulder to take the pass and gallop through to the tryline; 21-0.
This was closely followed by a second try from James Clark and one from Heeney; the visitors were 35-0 down and less than 30 minutes played.
A moments lapse of concentration from the restart resulted in the visitors managing to get inside the Harlow twenty-two for probably the first time in the match. There then followed a prolonged period of Rams defence which ultimately failed in keeping Upminster from crossing their line; 35-05.
Harlow replied instantaneously. Another break by Quinny from Number 8, again drawing the close defence before slipping the ball to Alfie Clark, just outside the Upminster twenty-two. A step to the right and the nearest defender was beaten before a step to the left wrong footed the next one. Clark was now deep inside the Upminster red zone with only the fullback to beat. Another audacious step and he was clear; 42-05.
The half was now rapidly drawing to a close but there was still time for one more score; Ryan Clark taking the ball at pace and piercing the defence to go in under the sticks; 49-05 and halftime.
The second period resumed in the same fashion and before long the scoreboard was ticking over again.
Quick hands along the backline found Heeney on the left wing and space in front of him. The desperate defenders tried hard to close him down but Heeney had the pace to beat them all to the line; 54-05.
An Upminster attack, just inside their half of the pitch, was shutdown by the combined tackle of James Clark and Dan Makepeace; ball stripped in the tackle and Alfie Clark racing over for his second of the day; 59-05.
A second try for Vanbeck was closely followed by a third from James Clark; it was now one-way traffic all the way. Upminster could do little to stop the home attack and the fierce Rams tackling soon put paid to any thoughts of attack.
Ali Phillips was next on the score sheet, brushing away the flailing defenders in his route to the tryline; 80-05.
The scoring was finished off with a second by Ryan Clark, again cutting a sublime line through the Upminster midfield to go in under the posts; 87-05 and the final whistle. A decisive victory was called for at the start of the day and The Rams duly supplied.
Finally, a thank you to Adam from The Heart And Clubs for sponsoring the new Rams kIt.
Tries: J. Clark (3), R. Clark (2), A. Clark (2), Heeney (2), Vanbeck (2), Stevenson, Phillips
Conversions: C. Clark (11)
Barrie Hussey, Mitchell Hodgkinson, Jack Christie, Dan Stevenson, Dan Makepeace, Dean Read, James Clark, Andrew Quinn, Alfie Clark, Chay Clark, Joe Heeney, Ryan Clark, Simon Vanbeck, Ashley Westall, Will Grimley, Danny Fitz, Eric Penney, Ali Phillips, Dan McCarthy, Sulli Ashcroft