Dagenham beat Upminster to reach Shield semi-finals

The new rugby season is now underway (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

The new rugby season is now underway (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Essex Presidents Shield: Dagenham 28 Upminster 6

Dagenham are through to the semi-finals of the Essex Presidents Shield following a 28-6 win at home to Essex Canterbury Jack One rivals Upminster.

The game started with some frantic and at times sloppy Dagenham play, which resulted in Upminster gaining the early advantage from a penalty.

Dagenham gained some possession to work some decent chances and Jordan Calverley took the opportunity to level the scores at 3-3

Upminster now had the edge as they pressed for a score, before some great defensive work from Dagenham saw the ball moved from their own 22.

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Smart hands released wing Jermaine Darkwa, who broke the first tackle and ran in from 50 metres for the first try of the game, though Calverley was unable to slot the conversion.

Again, Upminster came back at Dagenham, yet appeared to lack the confidence of the home side as when awarded a penalty some 20 metres out, they opted to kick for goal to make it 8-6.

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From then on, Dagenham dominated the game as their pack gained the upper hand at the set-piece, which gave their backs the opportunity to pressure the visitors with some sound defensive sets.

This paid dividends with handling mistakes from the visitors presenting the D’s with plenty of ball

One such turnover saw an excellent turn of speed from centre Billy Driver, who raced in from 50 metres only for an in-touch call to cancel the score out.

However, it wouldn’t be long before the dogged work from the forwards would get its rewards as a driving maul from a lineout saw Joe Jones touch down with Calverley adding the extras as Dagenham led 15-6 at half-time

The early exchanges of the second half were again even with Upminster having their fair share of the ball, yet they couldn’t force any real pressure on the D’s as the hosts’ defending was excellent

Calverley, who had another superb game, extended the D’s lead with another penalty to make it 18-6

The next 15 minutes saw Dagenham have a try disallowed when Shadi Smith came in off his wing and broke through three tackles before knocking on.

Lock David Kitenge then fell foul of the dreaded five-metre-line dive when he touched down over the wrong line when clean through.

A perfectly executed kick from scrum-half Josh Cook and exquisite finish from Darkwa saw Dagenham scored another try which Calverly converted.

To their credit, Upminster continued to hammer away, yet Dagenham’s defence stood up to everything they could throw at them before another penalty from Calverley sealed the win.

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