Improving Upminster suffer another defeat
- Credit: Archant
Upminster 15 Stowmarket 20
Upminster slipped to their sixth successive defeat in London Three North East after a close encounter with Stowmarket at Hall Lane.
The hosts made several changes to their side, with Neil Hutchison filling in at the unfamiliar position of second row, while number eight George Cox returned from concussion, fly-half Warren Lowe and centre Niko Maivuya were back from work commitments and 17-year-old scrum-half Jack Mayall was given his full debut.
And Upminster started brightly, with Chris Lamb combining with Cox to send Luke Potter diving over the line for the first try, which was converted by Lowe.
Continuing to play with a high tempo and applying pressure at the breakdown, Upminster were rocked when the visitors scored a try in the corner from a crossfield kick.
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They rallied with good phases involving forwards and backs, but another good break by Potter went to waste and Stowmarket cleared from the resulting scrum, with the ball bouncing kindly, as Jack Goldrick lost his footing, for their scrum-half to run in a second try and make it 12-7.
Again Upminster hit back and a good miss pass from Lowe put Goldrick one-on-one with his opposite number, before some impressive footwork took him in at the corner to level things up, as Lowe missed the conversion.
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Possession continued to change hands, with Mayall keeping the visitors on the back foot with some good breaks, but Stowmarket edged 15-12 up with a penalty, after Goldrick was injured making a defensive tackle and the home forwards were penalised.
The second half started in similar fashion with play swinging from end to end and Upminster squared matters with a penalty.
But with only 10 minutes remaining, the Stowmarket winger found himself in space to score his second try of the day and, despite camping in the visiting 22 for the closing stages, Upminster could not avoid a 20-15 defeat.
They make the short trip to Basildon for their first fixture of 2016 on Saturday.
Upminster thirds were edged out by their Chingford rivals, who scored from the last play of their match.
Matt Sewell’s try opened the scoring for an Upminster side buoyed by several returning players and he went on to complete a hat-trick.
But it was not enough as Chingford staged a late rally to snatch a 31-26 victory.
n Upminster’s youngsters impressed in their latest matches on Sunday, with the under-14s beating Brentwood 24-17 in the Essex Cup.
The under-16s romped to a 50-5 victory over a weakened Woodford, while the girls beat Eton Manor (20-0) and Dartford (25-0) at the Waterfall Cup, but lost to Barking (10-5) in their final match of the day.
This weekend sees the under-13s host Bancroft and the under-14s visit Woodford, while the under-15s meet Southend in the Essex Cup and the under-16s and colts entertain Sudbury and Westcliff, respectively, in league fixtures.