London Two North East: Steve Barfoot confident Romford & Gidea Park won’t switch off at Holt after reaching final
13:00 10 February 2017
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Crow Lane club defeated Wanstead 25-22 last weekend to reach the final of the Essex Intermediate Cup for a second consecutive season
Romford & Gidea Park make the long trip to North Norfolk to visit Holt in London Two North East tomorrow (Saturday) and director of rugby Steve Barfoot knows they cannot afford to be complacent.
The Crow Lane club have four wins from their previous five games in all competitions.
Holt, meanwhile, are second from bottom having claimed just three victories in the league all season, but Park will not be taking them for granted.
“We’ll enjoy the trip up there. You can’t complain too much, so we need to show up with the right attitude,” said Barfoot.
“I think we are doing all right in terms of availability and we have a cup final coming up, so everybody wants to play.
“The plan’s to go there and get a result, but you have to take into consideration the travelling. Hopefully it doesn’t have too much of an impact on us and we can go out and take it to Holt.
“They will want to win and they beat us at their place last year in a close game, which ended 10-6, so we can’t take them lightly.”
The Park squad will travel to Holt in buoyant mood having sealed a spot in the final of the Essex Intermediate Cup last weekend with a 25-22 success against Wanstead.
Their local rivals, who compete in London Three North East, put up a solid showing at Crow Lane and pushed the hosts all the way in the semi-final tie.
A topsy-turvy encounter was settled in the final minute when Park’s experienced fly-half Darrell Braiden held his nerve to kick a drop goal.
Barfoot added: “It was a really good game actually, with us going in front first and them coming back strongly.
“We managed to build up another lead before they levelled and then we finally won it with a drop goal, so it was a good day.
“Fair play to Wanstead because they are a strong side and pushed us all the way, but it was a solid performance from our boys and we stuck at it even when they were coming back into it.”
Jake Jones continued his fine season with a brace of tries for Park while Sam Coomber and Paul Cooper also crossed.
Braiden kicked one conversion, before sealing the win with that dramatic late drop goal, but the holders won’t find out who they will face in the final until February 25 when Harlow and Rochford do battle.
Park fielded a mixture of first and second team players and Barfoot praised the contributions of Jones and Braiden, adding: “Darrell is a veteran.
“I think he is 37, the same age as me and we’ve got him back involved recently. He is a calm number 10 with a good head and he did well.
“He has been playing for the second team over the last couple of seasons, but we have got him in the firsts again now.
“Jake is having a good season and I can’t fault anybody right now, all the lads are doing well and long may it continue.”