London Two North East: Steve Barfoot upset with Romford & Gidea Park’s sinners at South Woodham Ferrers
12:00 02 December 2016
Crow Lane club were set to host rivals Old Cooperians in the quarter-finals of the Essex Intermediate Cup, but tie looks to be off
Steve Barfoot was furious with his Romford & Gidea Park squad after they let an excellent winning position slip at South Woodham Ferrers in London Two North East last weekend.
The Crow Lane outfit held a 20-17 advantage heading into the final 10 minutes at Saltcoats Playing Field.
At this point Park were set to stay in fifth place and close the gap between themselves and the top four to just two points, but a yellow card to Charlie Wilkinson allowed the hosts to run in two late tries and claim a surprising 31-20 victory.
Barfoot said: “Saturday was very frustrating. We started well and built up a 10-point lead and then got our first sin-bin.
“South Woodham managed to get back into the game because of that and scored two tries, so the first yellow really cost us.
“After half time we started strongly and with 10 minutes to go we were leading, before we got another sin-bin. Once again they put 14 points on us and we ended up losing, so it wasn’t very good.”
It had started so well for Park with Wilkinson scoring a try early on, which Keanen Titus converted, before the same man slotted a penalty to hand the visitors a 10-point advantage.
But when second-row Peter O’Brien was sin-binned for a technical infringement at a ruck, South Woodham took control and drove over from short range for two converted tries before the interval.
Romford fought back well after the restart, with number eight Paul Bradley touching down and Titus adding the extras again to level the scores.
Titus kicked another penalty to put Barfoot’s men ahead, before Wilkinson was shown a yellow card for repeated dissent and a revitalised South Woodham grabbed two late tries.
Barfoot added: “The performance was pleasing, but again stupid rugby has cost us. I’ve said all along we are capable of beating any team in this league and other clubs are being savvier than us. Our boys need to learn fast.
“We have had a few yellow cards this season, although they haven’t really mattered, but Saturday’s did.
“Our lack of discipline cost us the game and it was naivety on our part, which you can’t do at this level. You can’t afford to get yellows, especially when you are playing against a team at the top.”
Romford were set to host Old Cooperians in the quarter-finals of the Essex Intermediate Cup tomorrow (Saturday), but Barfoot added: “Coops have said they can’t field a team so they want us to move it.
“They mentioned about playing it on January 21, but I don’t know if I will have a squad available then. We have been going backwards and forwards with it and I don’t think their excuses are very good.”