Rugby: Harwich & Dovercourt 6 Dagenham 57

Dagenham returned to action after a few weeks of inactivity with an emphatic 57-6 win over Harwich & Dovercourt in Essex League Division One.

The visitors started slowly and fell behind to a penalty, before Billy Driver went over for a try which was converted by Jordan Calverley.

Good defensive work by Dave Kitenge and Daniel Wren denied Harwich in the next phase of play, before Ds attacked from deep and wing Jermaine Dakrwa went over for another converted try.

Harwich enjoyed their best spell of the game after that and added a second penalty to make it 14-6.

But Dagenham produced some excellent rugby for Driver to go in for his second try of the day to widen the gap to 15 points at half time.

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And they pulled clear in the second half, as Jordan Darkwa and Lewis Pruce (2) ran in further tries within 15 minutes of the restart to make it 40-6.

Harwich were reduced to 14 men after one of their players was sent off for taking the man in the air and Ds added to their haul with a penalty try as the pack impressed.

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The extra man proved key in the closing stages as Ds saw their backs unleash more attacks and fantastic lines, for Driver to complete his hat-trick and Jordan Darkwa to go over once more.

And Dagenham will go into their Presidents Shield tie with Upminster this weekend in confident mood, despite a 67-0 loss to their rivals earlier in the season.

Head coach Brian Wren said: “It was a massive win for the team and laid a real marker for the rest of the season.

“Jordan Darkwa was immense for us and stand-in skipper Joe Parkin is really relishing the role.

“Next weekend is a win-win for us really. No one expects us to beat Upminster, who are a very well-drilled and organised side with some really good players.

“It’ll be a really good test of the squad. The experienced players we’ve added are giving our youngsters great confidence and when you consider seven of the squad are 20 or under it really bodes well for the future.”

Dagenham: S Jones, Parkin, J Warner, Wren, Kitenge, Westcot (Wonderling), Darkwa, J Jones, Cook, Calverley, Darkwa, Pruce (C Warner), Driver, Matthews, Preston.

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