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Old Cooperians triumph in 'emotional' Epping fixture

PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 December 2015

Old Cooperians observe a minutes silence in memory of former pupil Tom Wilson before their match at Epping Upper Clapton (pic: David Clarke)

Old Cooperians observe a minutes silence in memory of former pupil Tom Wilson before their match at Epping Upper Clapton (pic: David Clarke)

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Head coach Reed pleased to sneak win as club pay tribute to Coopers alumni Wilson

Old Cooperians head coach Pat Reed says the 7-5 victory over Epping Upper Clapton was an emotional game for the club.

Coops are linked with Coopers Coborn School, who are mourning the loss of former pupil Tom Wilson, who died in a freak training accident at hockey club Old Loughtonians last week.

Several of those who play for the club went to school with Wilson and a minute’s silence was held in his honour before Coops’ match at the weekend.

And Reed said it was important for the club to pay their respects to one of the school’s alumni.

“A few of the players knew Tom and we spoke about having a minute’s silence to remember him,” said Reed.

“The club and the school are one big family and community and I think we showed that at the weekend with the seconds also holding a minute’s silence.”

In the match itself, Coops were able to pick up a sixth straight win in London Three North East in their narrow triumph at Epping.

The hosts kicked off with a gale force wind behind them, but did not take advantage of it, keeping the ball in the forwards rather than kicking it.

Both teams played good rugby for the conditions and made many chances, but each time the defences held, and the first half finished without a score.

Epping took the lead from the second-half kick off when a period of pressure penned Coopers in their 22 and drove over from a maul, but the try was unconverted.

With time running out it looked as though Epping would take the spoils, but Coops scored with a supber diagonal run to the corner from Barnie Moul.

Tom Morgan added the extras into a strong win to give Coops the win and Reed was thrilled with the dramatic finish.

“It was nice to sneak it, it was a great kick from time,” added Reed. “We chose to play against the wind first half and we were happy to go in level and that helped us win.”

Next up is a home game against lowly Stowmarket tomorrow (Saturday) as they look to stretch their hot streak to seven straight wins.

But despite the two teams being in contrasting form this season, Reed insists the match will not be a formaility for Coops.

“We’re not taking anything for granted because Stowmarket have lost out in a lot of close games this season,” said Reed.

“We’re preparing for the game like we would do for any other fixture and we want to make sure we are in a comfortable position when we come back in the new year after the Christmas break.”

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