London Two North East: Romford & Gidea Park’s Steve Barfoot relishing chance to enjoy cup final cheer
PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 April 2017
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Crow Lane club looking to defeat divisional rivals Rochford Hundred and retain Essex Intermediate Cup on Saturday
Romford & Gidea Park director of rugby Steve Barfoot is taking nothing for granted ahead of the Essex Intermediate Cup final on Saturday.
The Crow Lane club face London Two North East rivals Rochford Hundred at Bancroft and hope to retain the trophy they won in 2016.
Park finished the league campaign in fourth – four places ahead of Rochford – and won both meetings with them, but Barfoot insists it doesn’t give his improving team a psychological advantage.
“The results against them this season don’t count for anything now, so we need to turn up and perform our best,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what happened in the two games or where we finished because the league campaign is over.
“That has been and gone and the final is a one-off match and we need to make sure we give everything on Saturday to win.”
Barfoot does expect the encounter to be close and a more even contest compared to the 2016 final.
Romford defeated London Three North East outfit Harlow 33-10 at Thurrock, but know they face a sterner examination this weekend in Buckhurst Hill.
“It is a final between two evenly matched sides and it is going to come down to who wants it more, but I expect it to be close,” said Barfoot.
“We don’t look too much into how the opposition are going to play, as we like to focus on our own game.
“If we do the things we are good at and play how we can then I feel we can win the cup again.”
Another trophy in the cabinet, combined with an impressive fourth-place finish, would give Romford plenty of momentum ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
Park ended last season in ninth, but have been much more consistent this year with their form on home turf a major plus point.
Barfoot added: “It has been a really good campaign for us and especially considering the way we started it.
“It is nice for the boys to have built their way into it and if we can win the final it will take us into the summer nicely.”
Unsurprisingly, Park’s director of rugby is set to have a selection headache for Saturday’s final.
Numbers for training this week have been good and therefore Barfoot is going to have to disappoint some of his squad, adding: “We have had 20-plus for training, so everyone is ready and raring to go.
“It is good to have a selection headache, but of course some people are going to be disappointed.”
After a long season, Romford are now preparing for the final act and they only have one game left before earning a deserved break.
“We need to give everything. I’ve said it before, but it will come down to who wants it more,” said Barfoot. “If we want it more then we will be good enough to get the win, so hopefully we do and it can be a good day.”