14:19 22 March 2012
Romford return to title bid
London Division 2NE
Romford & GP (17-0-1) v Canvey (2-1-16)
Table-topping Park return to action after a weekend off with a home meeting against relegation-threatened Canvey.
Park produced some of their “best-ever rugby” in a 59-21 win at Lowestoft a fortnight ago, which left them eight points clear of Basildon.
And they notched up a half-century when these two sides met in early December in a performance coach Mark Collins called their “best-ever win at Canvey”.
Park fell 9-0 down that day, but hit back with 52 unanswered points as Joe Howard (4), Rhys Davies (2), Pete O’Brien, Iain Semain and Ross Inwood all ran in tries.
They have passed the 50-point mark in six matches already this season and, if in full flight this weekend, you would not bet against them extending that impressive sequence.
London Division 3NE
Campion (5-1-13) v Harlow (12-1-6)
Campion climbed off the bottom of the table with a tense 17-15 win over Norwich last weekend.
Their rescheduled fixture was the only game to be played and tries from James Dupree and Dan Bolton, converted by Matt Buchan who also added a penalty, proved just enough.
The much-needed victory will have given the old boys hope of a great escape in the final weeks of the campaign, but they will need to produce another good performance to defeat high-flying Harlow.
They went close in the earlier meeting between the sides, losing 17-16 in somewhat controversial fashion.
London Division 3NE
Newmarket (5-0-13) v Upminster (10-0-9)
Upminster could do local rivals Campion a big favour with victory this weekend.
Newmarket slipped to the bottom of the table as a result of Campion’s triumph last Saturday, but only one point separates the bottom three, with East London also in the relegation mix.
Upminster edged out Harlow in their last outing, with Chris Davie and Tom Simpson touching down and Jamie Pavitt slotting a decisive penalty in an 18-15 success.
And they were convincing 40-25 winners when Newmarket visited Hall Lane in early December, so Upminster should be confident of completing a double over the new basement boys.
Essex Division 1
Old Brentwoods (14-0-1) v Old Cooperians (6-2-7)
Coopers face a tough trip to table-topping Brentwoods on their return to action following the “international break”.
They lost 23-15 when these sides met at St Mary’s Lane in December, despite five penalties from the boot of the since departed Adam Kain.
But Coopers came out on top in a topsy-turvy meeting with Bancroft two weeks ago and should have the services of bulldozing prop Nathaniel John, following his recent exploits at indoor rowing and 5-a-side football.