Collins thrilled as D’s cream Clapton
PUBLISHED: 16:06 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:09 02 July 2010
Dagenham remained in the promotion hunt with a hard-fought victory over a competitive Upper Clapton side on Saturday. The early exchanges were fairly even as both sides looked to stamp their authority on the game. Sprung Much of the action was confined
Dagenham remained in the promotion hunt with a hard-fought victory over a competitive Upper Clapton side on Saturday.
The early exchanges were fairly even as both sides looked to stamp their authority on the game.
Much of the action was confined to the midfield before Dagenham sprung to life and West Calverley took over.
The Dagenham vice-captain, again forced to play in the forwards, had an inspired first half, grabbing the opening 15 points of the day.
The first try came from solid initial work from the forwards, before the ball was moved to inside centre Billy Nelson, who made an incisive break.
Possession moved swiftly through the hands of Simon Argent and Chris Carpenter before Calverley took the scoring pass and crashed over.
He pulled his kick just to the left of the posts but made up for it shortly after, converting a penalty to give the home side an 8-0 lead.
The D's soon added to their advantage when John Hobden weighted a beautiful kick over the defence and Calverley gathered to score.
This time his kick sailed over and the home side were in control only for Clapton to respond almost immediately.
A succession of minor mistakes from Dagenham allowed the visitors good field position and they managed to barge their way over for a converted score.
At 15-7 the game was back on, but the D's managed to add another score before the break as an effective line-out led to an excellent maul which allowed skipper Ben Fowler to score as his side switched ends 20-7 ahead.
Despite playing into the elements, the D's looked fairly comfortable for much of the second period.
The forwards pressed the scrum at vital times, with man of the match Dave Purton putting in an immense performance at tighthead.
The defensive line was mostly solid with the retuning James Griffiths getting through plenty of work, while there continued to be some promising half breaks in the backs with diligent support often shown from Daryl Keen and James Roberts.
The crucial score came with minutes left on the clock.
A superb jinking run from Simon Argent, who is having an outstanding season, saw the ball quickly recycled and moved to John Hobden.
The Dagenham outside half stepped and smashed his way through several tackles before rounding the full back and scoring under the posts.
Calverley added a regulation kick and the score put the game beyond the visitors' reach.
To their credit they came back looking for the final score, and they duly added a try out wide as Dagenham's defence momentarily switched off.
With a mouthwatering clash at league leaders Maldon next weekend, head coach Mark Collins was in high spirits.
"I'm quite pleased. Things are going our way, very much so," he said.
"We turned round at half time very pleased and we had two or three chances in the second half.
"The conditions weren't great and it was soft underfoot. There are things we need to work on before we play Maldon because they're top of the table.
"The table doesn't lie but we'll look to turn the form book on its head.
"We'll look to use our backs and nick a result.
"I'm very pleased with the way we've been playing.
"The performances are very good.
"From one to 10, top or bottom, any club is capable of beating any club on their day and we'll give as good as good as we get.
"It's all about consistency. Have we got that consistency?