Wigham warns Romford owe Saffron Walden a performance
PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 April 2019
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Captain Micky James will play his final home match as skipper with the stalwart set to step down at the end of the season
Jordan Wigham will not find it hard to motivate Romford & Gidea Park ahead of this weekend’s final London Two North East game this season.
The Crow Lane club will hope it is not their last competitive match of the campaign with a victory on Saturday enough to earn them a spot in the play-off final.
First things first they have to get the better of Saffron Walden, who beat Park 36-25 on the opening day back on September 8.
While everyone at Romford will be desperate to secure a shot at promotion back to the London One North, this clash will also be Micky James’ last on home turf as skipper.
Park head coach Wigham said: “There will be added emotion because long-serving captain Micky James will play his final league game as captain before stepping down.
“He has been skipper for 10 years now and that is an unbelievable achievement, so I am sure the boys will want him to finish his time as our captain on a high.”
If Romford win, they will set up a play-off decider with second-placed London Two North West side Harpenden.
Even a defeat may see Park finish as runners-up to title winners Woodford, but only if third in the table Stowmarket fail to win at home to Southwold.
What will guarantee a play-off berth is a Romford victory and after losing to Walden last time out, Wigham wants revenge.
He added: “We know what Saffron Walden will bring, but we also know we owe them a performance.
“We have beat almost every team in the league this season and the only one we haven’t is Saffron Walden and it was a disappointing one back in September because we didn’t take the opportunities which were presented to us.
“We know a win will seal a spot in the play-offs and we are expecting a big crowd and want to put a performance together, but not just because of what is at stake, but because we want to put in a performance we can be proud of to thank all the support we have received this season.”
Romford made it two wins in a row last weekend with a 27-24 win over Cantabrigian at Crow Lane.
It was a crucial result for Park - who had a numerical disadvantage for much of the game after Sam Coomber’s red - and victory only occurred after teenscrum half Tom Medaglia hit a late penalty via the woodwork.
Wigham added: “We have backed both our younger players, Tom being one of them, all season and with Ben (Northfield) off the pitch and it being a pressure kick with clock in the red, it shows how fearless these boys are.
“Tom gave me the nod straight away and placed the ball and was confident in his approach. It was a big hold your breathe moment and a bit of luck with both posts and the crossbar being hit before it eventually went over, but everyone needs some luck.”
Dwayne Lyn, Coomber, Paul Webb and Pete O’Brien crossed over for tries while Matt Taylor kicked two conversions.
But it was left to under-18 Medaglia to hold his nerve and Wigham hailed his squad after they had to deal with more injuries.
“We played some really good stuff and seemed to be in control. We did some really good things and some of the structure was really good and the boys work rate was fantastic, but losing a few players early on didn’t help when we were trying to see it out,” he said.
“I think we played the best part of 60 minutes with 14 players after a red card which in the laws of the game is a straight red, so we can have no arguments there.
“Losing Ben and Jack Bines to injury in the first half put a bit more pressure on us than we would’ve liked, but the boys dug deep to win.”
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