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D's up to second after a perfect start to the new year at Herons

PUBLISHED: 15:42 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:07 02 July 2010

TRY . . . Dagenham’s Billy Nelson.

TRY . . . Dagenham's Billy Nelson.

ESSEX ONE Wanstead 5 Dagenham 19 Dagenham kicked off 2008 with a fine away victory at Wanstead that owed so much to the character and depth of the squad yet again. The D s were forced into another major reshuffle, with injuries and illness claiming four p

ESSEX ONE

Wanstead 5 Dagenham 19

Dagenham kicked off 2008 with a fine away victory at Wanstead that owed so much to the character and depth of the squad yet again.

The D's were forced into another major reshuffle, with injuries and illness claiming four players on Friday, and influential fly-half West Calverley was forced to switch to open side flanker.

Nonetheless, the spirit in the camp is very good and the Central Park side set about their work in determined fashion as Jordan Wigham made an excellent break, before finding Calverley in support, who managed to cross the line for an early score.

The conversion went just wide but the D's were on the board.

Wanstead came back hard, using their excellent pack to good effect with a series of drives at the Dagenham line.

Eventually the weight of the pressure told and the Herons bundled over for an unconverted score.

Dagenham had one or two more chances before the interval, but were unable to convert, leaving the half time score locked at 5-5.

The second half was a much more fluent showing from Dagenham as they had extra cohesion and the organisation of the defence was outstanding.

The set-piece functioned superbly and the visitors enjoyed more than their fair share of territory and eventually managed to claim the lead, when the ball was moved to inside centre Billy Nelson, who carved his way through the home defence to claim an outstanding individual score.

Louis Stevens added the extras, and the score lifted the Central Park men.

They were playing with good control and it wasn't too long before they claimed the killer score.

Man-of-the-match Simon Argent, who had yet another fine game in the centre, forced a turnover and the ball was spun wide to Perry Lock for the winger to race home.

Stevens slotted a superb touchline conversion to increase the advantage.

The D's played sensibly after the score with John Hobden and Argent putting some kicks in and the forwards setting up some great phase play.

Wanstead came back hard and threw everything at the D's in the last 10 minutes, but were repelled by superb defence as they moved up to second place.

A delighted coach Mark Collins said: "It was important to win and it was a good performance from the boys.

"We had a lot of people missing. All the boys who played were still up for the match. There was a great attitude from everyone who turned out.

"Wanstead came at us. We looked okay but we needed to keep playing well until the final whistle. We upped our game in the second half as well when we needed to.

"It's going to be a tough three months now, the boys need to work more and work harder.

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