BRAINTREE BLOWN AWAY
BRAINTREE RFC 15 V 52 EPPING UPPER CLAPTON RFC
The latest hurdle facing EUCRFC in their season of redemption was a fired up Braintree unit, hugely protective of an unbeaten home record for 2018/19 and coupled with very blustery conditions! In the previous contest between these 2 teams earlier in the season Clapton had prevailed but were faced with a strong physical challenge in doing so. Braintree clearly felt this approach was their best chance too in the return fixture. Whilst EUCRFC were to go on and extend their own promotion credentials with a storming victory, Braintree would have entered the game knowing they could play themselves into contention. Like the blustery weather, they were to be well and truly blown away with these aspirations as Clapton continue to take all the plaudits!
Braintree had the conditions in their favour to start with, managed the opening score and a subsequent one in the half but Clapton had collected 4 of their own as they played against the elements and therefore collected a try bonus point in so doing before half time. EUCRFC’s scorers were Reece Reed, Dan Jones, Olly Stokes and Des Griggs to register a 24-10 half time advantage to the visitors.
Clapton had displayed their forward strength in both the loose and set plays, Mitch Sinfield, Des Griggs and ‘The Renaissance Man’ Adam Ayres all marauding about in open play whilst the EUCRFC defence was exerting so much pressure on its opponents that they were often spilling ball and on 3 occasions this led to Clapton securing further scores. Dom Merrett continues to develop in to a real prospect for the future and came from the wing to replace Reed at scrum half and further enhance his reputation as a rugby player. The success of this team is based on a balance of young future prospects and mature old heads. They all combined to add a further 4 tries; a brace for George Douglas and 2 more for Dan Jones to give him a match tally of 27 points. Braintree to their credit never gave up and secured a consolation try to make the final score 15-52.
Whilst Clapton had secured a full complement of points, Chelmsford their next opponent and nearest pursuer had lost to ensure EUCRFC had extended their lead at the head of the League to 16 points. Chelmsford are the only team to have overcome Clapton so far in this campaign so the Thornwood based club will be extremely anxious and committed to ensuring there is not a repeat of this in the upcoming return fixture this week-end. They will hope to continue this recent run of ruthless form.
EUCRFC: G. Douglas, J. Hack, G. Cook, J. Mbu, D. Merrett, D. Jones, R. Reed, C. Furlong, A. Ayres, N. Trevellion, O. Stokes, W. Parrish, D. Griggs, D. Allen, M. Sinfield, L. Morretta, A. Reynolds, D. Smith