Dagenham dig deep to finish year on a high as hard work secures win over Upminster
PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 December 2018
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Dagenham ended their year on a winning note with a hard-fought 7-3 success over Upminster at Central Park in Essex League Division One.
The cold, sleet and howling wind put paid to any hopes of running rugby and instead Ds had to roll up their sleeves and grind out a win.
The visitors had the majority of the early possession and carried well to pressure the Dagenham line but they couldn’t breach a solid defence and the hosts slowly got a foothold in the game.
Dagenham’s scrum once again worked well with loose head prop Sean Jones leading from the front as he carried magnificently, made tackle after tackle and hit every ruck and maul hard.
On 25 minutes Dagenham looked to have opened the scoring as scrum-half Josh Cook, who had a superb game, drove his pack through 15 phases before sniping over, only for the score to be disallowed for foul play from flanker Jordan Darkwa who received a yellow card.
Upminster had lost a prop to a yellow card earlier and the hosts began to turn the screw, driving forward through phases before man of the match Jones crashed over for a try, which Jordan Calverley converted.
The visitors got themselves back into the game after some decent phases of play to convert a penalty in front of the posts for a half time score of 7-3.
And the second half proved quite brutal, with both sets of forwards smashing lumps out of each other and opportunities few and far between.
Dagenham spent large parts of the half in their own 22 and a try-saving tackle in the corner from wing Jermaine Darkwa helped preserve their lead.
Upminster piled the pressure on until the end but for the second time in four weeks, Dagenham took the spoils and assistant coach Ray Lagden said: “Upminster played very well and put us under lots of pressure. Some of our play was very sloppy but when it really mattered we got it right. We constantly drum unto the players to do the right things at the right times and we did.
“A scrum 15 metres out when down to seven held firm, our centre pairing made massive hits when needed and our line out, which at times was disrupted, worked when we needed it to. This was a massive win for us.”
Dagenham: S Jones, Parkin, Drake (J Warner), D Wren, D Kitenge, G Wren (Collins), J Darkwa, J Jones, Cook, Calverley, Matthews, Pruce, Driver, J Darkwa, Preston. Unused sub: C Warner.