Upminster end year on a high
PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 December 2016
Basildon 5 Upminster 7
Upminster ended a six-game winless streak in London Three North East to finish the year on a high with a hard-fought success at local rivals Basildon.
The visitors were forced to make several changes for the game, with Jack Goldrick, George Cox, Glenn Kennedy, Craig Portsmouth, Warren Lowe, Niko Maivuya, Matt Munn and Harry Lockwood all missing due to injury and work commitments.
Mark Everitt, Dave Langley and Charlie Slatter came into the pack, while Alfie Simmonett and Matt Black joined the backline, and Upminster started brightly in foggy conditions and took the lead after just two minutes when fly-half Black put a kick through and centre Lawrence Haywood touched down just before the dead ball line.
Haywood added the conversion and the two sides swapped possession and territory, before Upminster were forced to replace the injured Ben Fryatt and Everitt.
Evergreen Black directed the visitors around the park with some good tactical kicking, but Basildon took advantage of some mistakes late in the half to score a try in the corner, which was unconverted.
The second half continued in similar fashion, with Charlie Slatter proving a thorn in the side of Basildon at the breakdown and number eight Luke Potter carrying the ball well.
But Upminster had a late let-off when Basildon were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and saw their fly-half push his kick wide.
Director of Rugby Scott Murphy said: “It was a fully committed performance from the lads. We were close the previous week against Stowmarket and were desperate to make sure we got the result we wanted.
“We have a few weeks off now, which is good. It gives the lads plenty of time to recover and then we will get back to league action in the new year with three important games at home to Ilford and West Norfolk and away to Lowestoft & Yarmouth.”
n Upminster under-13s were edged out 35-30 by Bancroft on Sunday, while the under-14s went down 29-14 at Woodford.
But the under-15s ran out 15-12 winners over Southend in the Essex Cup, while the colts were edged out 19-14 late on by Westcliff in a friendly.