Wigham hails Park after ‘massively important’ derby win
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
The Crow Lane club secured a superb 22-8 victory away to local rivals Wanstead on Saturday
Romford & Gidea Park kept the pressure on London Two North East leaders and title foes Woodford with an impressive 22-8 victory at local rivals Wanstead on Saturday and head coach Jordan Wigham heaped praise on his improving team.
The contest at Roding Lane North appeared a tricky one for Park, who had been held to a 19-19 draw by Cantabrigian the weekend before.
Second-placed Romford showed their class, however, to secure an excellent double over the Herons, who finished fourth in the 2017/18 campaign.
Wigham said: “After our two games with them last year, the first where we were blown away and the second a draw, we knew Wanstead would be a massive challenge for us this season.
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“We knew this game in particular was a potential banana skin as they are solid at home and hard to beat, but it was a very good win and a massively important one too.”
The contest, which was both clubs last of 2018, was played out in horrible conditions as a strong wind and heavy rain made it tough for the two teams.
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Romford’s forwards gained the upper-hand, though, and the visitors led 17-3 at half time after tries by scrum-half Barney Savill and wing Tyler Ford.
Full-back Jack MacVeigh kicked the extras of both scores, plus a penalty, and despite a further drop in the temperature, Park only conceded once to rivals Wanstead after the restart.
The visitors then had the final say on proceedings when their in-form second row Pete O’Brien drove over in the corner to make it 22-8 and give Romford another brilliant win, which makes 10 victories from their last 11 fixtures – a superb record.
“It was one of the worst conditions I have ever witnessed in rugby. We had hail stones and wind, so freezing conditions, but the boys battled through it and got the win,” Wigham proudly reflected.
“We could have really put Wanstead to sword, but due to the weather our error count was a lot higher than usual.”
This was a mightily impressive result against a strong Herons team and Park are now nine points ahead of Stowmarket heading into 2019.