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Youth Rugby: Romford & Gidea Park too strong for rivals at Thurrock Festival

PUBLISHED: 14:30 14 March 2017

Romford & Gidea Park's under-eights are all smiles after winning the Thurrock Festival (pic: Romford & Gidea Park).

Romford & Gidea Park's under-eights are all smiles after winning the Thurrock Festival (pic: Romford & Gidea Park).

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Crow Lane youngsters show off their talent with a string of wins against local clubs

Romford & Gidea Park's under-eights show their delight after winning the Thurrock Festival (pic: Romford & Gidea Park).Romford & Gidea Park's under-eights show their delight after winning the Thurrock Festival (pic: Romford & Gidea Park).

Romford & Gidea Park’s under-eights won the Thurrock Festival last weekend after a string of excellent performances.

The Crow Lane club were drawn in Pool B and faced Old Brentwood first up and edged them out in a thriller.

Romford were a bit slow out of the blocks, giving an easy try away, not concentrating at the whistle and losing their defensive shape.

Conceding an early score jolted them into gear and they hit back with an outstanding try, some direct running by Max Salmon broke the gain line, he offloaded to William Oliver who showed great foot work sending the old B’s defence the wrong way.

Romford & Gidea Park's under-eights celebrate after winning the Thurrock Festival (pic: Romford & Gidea Park).Romford & Gidea Park's under-eights celebrate after winning the Thurrock Festival (pic: Romford & Gidea Park).

He then threw a lofted miss pass to put George Hiller in the clear for the corner to a massive roar from all watching.

The next defensive play by Romford set the tone for the day, the lads showed real commitment and grit in closing down the opposition, who at every turn had a defender on them forcing them back and into errors.

Old B’s were just as committed and this made for an exciting game that Romford just edged 7-6.

The second match was also a close affair against Woodford and it finished 6-5 with Strake Brannon starting the scoring.

Jimmy Doman crossed over the line for the winner and again a great defence was the difference between the teams.

Romford were first to react to everything, scoring freely but really making the opposition having to work for their tries.

Sam Playle, Salmon and Freddy Clark showed some excellent team work in midfield holding good lines forcing the opposition out wide and into touch winning Romford the ball.

Game three was an easier encounter with Romford winning 7-4 against Thurrock, Riley Claxton-Smith and Oliver were bossing the midfield.

The duo were putting in some solid defensive sets, getting turnovers, forcing knock ons and with Doman picking up the pieces he went over for five tries.

The last game saw Romford comfortably beating Upminster 10-7 with Clark scoring two tries.

Hiller was guarding the wide spaces and shepherding the opposition into touch and again Romford’s defence was immense with Rocky Slade a pillar in midfield.

Pool B finished with Romford sitting unbeaten top of the table waiting for the winners of Group A.

The final ended up being a one sided affair against Woodford’s team from Pool A as the Crow Lane boys started at a furious pace.

Straight away they were driving Woodford back, forcing turn over after turn over, as Oliver, Doman and Claxton-Smith were everywhere on loose balls making tag after tag and scoring freely.

Hiller, Playle and Slade made up the other part of the Great Wall of Romford, guarding the wide areas not letting the opposition get any sort of foot hold in the match.

Romford were 4-0 up at halftime and Salmon, Clark and Brannon came on second half to bolster a tiring Romford.

Immediately Woodford were pushed back and the Crow Lane boys got another score, but then Woodford rallied.

They hit back for their first try of the match and after a dramatic final couple of minutes, it finished 7-3 to Romford to ensure they took the silverware back to Crow Lane.

Romford: Max Salmon, Rocky Slade, Jimmy Doman, George Hiller, Strake Brannon, Freddy Clark, Sam Playle, Riley Claxton-Smith, William Oliver.

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