Battling Rochford can’t topple high-flyers

First published in Sport by

ROCHFORD Hundred continued their positive form to give second-placed Eton Manor a run for their money in London One North, but still suffered a 27-16 defeat.

Hundred, who remain bottom of the table, matched their high-flying hosts for large spells of the game.

But Rochford’s first team manager Graham Pratt felt Manor’s calmness under pressure enabled them to come out on top.

“Both teams fought out a hard and combative match and there wasn’t much between them except Manor had that little extra directness and composure that comes from winning games regularly,” said Pratt.

“That is why they are where they are in the table and we need to be more clinical in our finishing, especially after doing the hard work of creating the chances.”

Despite making a bright start, Rochford found themselves 8-0 down after the visitors scored an unconverted try and a penalty.

However, Rochford hit back with Marcus Spremulli outpacing the defence to score an excellent try to reduce the deficit.

Eton Manor remained 8-5 ahead at half-time, but went up a gear at the start of the second period with a converted try.

But Rochford kept the pressure up and were rewarded for their efforts.

Stand off Nick Ventress slotted over two penalty kicks in quick succession to cut Manor’s lead to 15-11 and Rochford sensed that the visitors were starting to feel the pressure.

The home team threw everything at their opponents and should have scored at least a couple of tries.

But Rochford’s final execution was found wanting and somehow the visitors survived the storm, despite Manor playing with 14 men.

And they were able to also go up a gear and score two late tries, one of which was converted, to take the game away from a dejected Rochford. The home team did not give in and went full out to get something for all their hard work and determination and the excellent prop Marks drove over for a last-minute try to bring the score to a more credible 27-16.

But Rochford knew it should have been a great deal closer than that.

Rochford: Mark, DeFreitus, Coombe, Mott, Wiseman, Spencer, Dorrington, Whight, O’Connor, Ventress, Barmes, Tusini, Stewart, Bavington, Spremulli. Replacements: Corbet, Knowles & Bracknell.

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