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Bakers move closer to title glory with Clapton success

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 March 2015

May & Baker player-coach Andy Yarrow speaks to the referee during his side's slender win over Epping Upper Clapton (pic: Rob Stanbridge)

May & Baker player-coach Andy Yarrow speaks to the referee during his side's slender win over Epping Upper Clapton (pic: Rob Stanbridge)

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Victory this weekend will virtually confirm May & Baker as champions

Action from May & Baker's RFU Junior Vase tie against Camberley (pic: Rob Stanbridge). Action from May & Baker's RFU Junior Vase tie against Camberley (pic: Rob Stanbridge).

May & Baker captain Andy Yarrow believes only a miracle will prevent his team winning Essex One after they defeated title rivals Upper Clapton on Saturday.

Tries from Connor Wilson and Yarrow helped the visitors to a 15-11 success at Upland Road.

May & Baker captain Andy Yarrow (red and black no.4) prepares to get into the thick of things (pic: Rob Stanbridge) May & Baker captain Andy Yarrow (red and black no.4) prepares to get into the thick of things (pic: Rob Stanbridge)

The victory puts Bakers 10 points clear at the top of the table with just three matches remaining.

Yarrow said: “The win means everything and it would take a miracle for us to not finish as league champions now.

“We have calculated that if we win at Ilford this weekend and get a bonus point we will need just one point from our games against Pegasus and Bancroft.

“Pegasus is at home on March 28 so we have a chance to win the league at home and that is what we want to achieve.”

Yarrow admitted the Clapton clash was a bruising encounter, but praised the display of his team.

He always remained confident their defence would shine and it proved to be the case with the home side scoring just one try compared to Bakers’ two.

“It was a physical game and I haven’t spoken to one player that isn’t in pieces,” added Yarrow.

“A few of them had to take Monday off work as well!

“I can’t praise everyone enough. My scrum-half Josh Cook was throwing his body into people double his size to make tackles and everyone else was doing the same.

“It was a massive team performance.”

Although Yarrow’s try was the difference against Upper Clapton, the skipper wasn’t interested in basking in the glory.

He added: “I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and although I scored it is all about the team.

“The celebrations afterwards are what it is all about for me, not scoring tries myself.

“It was the furthest I have run all season! I ran about 25-30 yards. I intercepted a pass and there was so much space. I stopped for support, but there was nothing!”

Fortunately Yarrow was able to make it past the try-line and give Bakers their crucial victory.

They must now back that win up on Saturday when they visit Ilford.

“For us the worst thing that could possibly happen is to slip up and give Upper Clapton a chance,” added Yarrow.

“I am not a fan of Ilford and they will want to do a job on us.

“We really want to win the league at home, so mucking up this weekend would mean it would go down to the last day at Bancroft and we don’t want that.”

Yarrow believes Ilford will pose a challenge, like Upper Clapton did, and has praised their pack.

But he is certain his men will come out on top and move one step closer to the Essex One title.

“Ilford are quite similar, without the money, to Upper Clapton,” Yarrow added.

“They’re a physical side and their pack has given us more problems than any other has this year.

“We need to win that up front and whoever does win that will probably come out on top.”

Bakers will hope it is them.

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