Harts Make Final
Harts Make Final
Rochford Hundred Harts XV made it through to the Essex 2nd XV Cup final with an emphatic win over rivals Thurrock at Magnolia Road on Saturday. With one league win a piece this was always going to be a touch and brutal encounter which the boys in black managed to record an excellent result.
Rochford started brightly and put the pressure on Thurrock from the start. A powerful display from the forwards managed to gain good ground and allowed Fitzpatrick to split the defence and side step the full back to score under the posts, converted by Chipper. Rochford 7 – 0 Thurrock.
Thurrock hit back immediately and when Dolman saw a Yellow card for a high tackle on his opposite number Rochford were under pressure and this eventually led to a good Thurrock try followed by two penalties during the 10 minute sin bin spell to put them in control of the game, Rochford 7 – 13 Thurrock.
With Rochford back to full compliment and learning quickly the referees interpretation of the laws the remainder of the second half was all control by Rochford. The front row of Illingworth, Irvine and Hughes were dominating their opposition and some strong running from the back row of Chipper, Spencer and Goodliffe Thurrock were struggling to contain a hungry Rochford side. A penalty 5 metres out resulted in some quick thinking and a quick tap and go from Chipper who powered over to convert his own try and put Rochford back into control, Rochford 14 – 13 Thurrock.
Next up was Jon Baker as the final few minutes of the first half approached a fine running display from the forwards and some excellent quick hands and inch perfect pass from Fitzpatrick put Baker away on the wing to put Rochford further ahead as the halftime whistle blew.
Half Time Rochford 19 – 13 Thurrock
Rochford needed a bit more patience as were trying to force everything in the first half and took on board Coach Stephenson’s words at Half Time and produced a much better 2nd half performance. From the kick off Rochford looked dangerous and it wasn’t long before Ridgeway split the defence and went over for a converted score, Rochford 26 – 13 Thurrock. Thurrock were on the receiving end of 2 yellow cards during this period and Rochford made it count, again with Chipper increasing the lead through another well worked converted try, Rochford 33 – 13.
The next score came from Goodliffe, after an excellent run from Bracknell down the blindside evaded a couple of tackles and drew the full back then to offload superbly to his number 8 in support and crashed over to extend the lead, Rochford 38 – 13.
Thurrock then controlled the next period of play, not to lie down came out fighting with pride and managed to squeeze over in the corner for their second try of the game, Rochford 38 – 18 Thurrock. Rochford rallied and wanted the last word of the game and this came through Jon Baker, out pacing and powering his way to the line and scoring out wide just before the final whistle blew.
Final Score Rochford 43 – 18 Thurrock
That gets the boys from Magnolia Road into the Essex Cup Final to the delight of all the players, coaching staff and good crowd that came to cheer the lads on.