London Two North East: After avoiding relegation in dramatic fashion, Romford & Gidea Park now aim to finish with silverware
PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 April 2018
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Steve Barfoot is hopeful his young squad will use the experience of losing last season’s Essex Intermediate Cup final in this year’s final
Romford & Gidea Park director of rugby Steve Barfoot is satisfied with their season after avoiding relegation last weekend, but is hopeful they can sign off in style on Saturday with silverware.
The Crow Lane club visit Ilford Wanderers to contest the final of the Essex Intermediate Cup where they will take on Harlow.
Both clubs finished mid-table in London Two North East, although Park did need a win at local rivals Old Cooperians on Saturday to avoid the drop.
With one game of the 2017/18 season left, Romford are keen to end with a trophy, but know it will be tough against the fifth-placed club this weekend.
“Harlow have beat us once, but we beat them once, so we’ll see what happens on the day. It should be a really good game,” said Park director of rugby Barfoot.
The most recent battle between the two sides was on December 16 when Romford impressively won 43-15, but Harlow had dished out a 35-15 loss at the beginning of the season on September 16.
Just four points separated the teams in the final table, but will Park have the edge because they won the last meeting?
Barfoot added: “I guess we’ll take confidence from the fact we beat them in the most recent game, but it is a cup final.
“They could call upon all their big players – the same as we’ll try to do – so it could be two totally different teams and we’ll see what the outcome is.”
What could give Romford an advantage is the fact they played in the Essex Intermediate Cup final last season.
Rochford Hundred won a close encounter 36-29 at Bancroft, but after beating Old Cooperians, confidence is high.
“I hope the experience of last season will help us get over the line because it would be nice to finish with a bit of silverware,” said Barfoot.
“Our main goal this season was to stay in the league and we have, so I’m happy with the campaign as a whole anyway.”
Tries from Paul Webb, Aidan Mersh and Barney Savill, coupled with two Jack Irvine conversions, had the score level at 19-19 with minutes left at Old Cooperians.
Romford needed a hero and up stepped teenager Irvine as he slotted a penalty in front of the posts to secure a 22-19 victory.
After the high of last weekend, Park will now hope to add a cup win to their seventh-placed finish.