BASILDON first team manager Mark Farrell was full of smiles after guiding his side to a third win in four games.

Basildon saw off Upminster 31-14 to move up to third in the London Three Essex standings.

And Farrell - who is working alongside Saracens legend Kris Chesney - is happy with the progress being made during his second full campaign with the club.

“We have taken the first few steps in what I hope will be a process that transforms the ability of local people to play, watch and enjoy their rugby in Basildon,” said Farrell.

“This was another good win to continue our good start and we’re moving in the right direction but we all know that Rome was not built in a day.”

Farrell will therefore not be getting carried away by Basildon’s fine start.

But he is enjoying his role at the club, having first got involved after watching his son-in-law play.

“I went over last year to watch a few games and offered some coaching help, which was accepted,” said Farrell.

“The season before, Basildon had lost every game but we won eight league games last year to finish mid-table and hopefully we’ll do even better this year.”

With progress in mind, Farrell brought in Mark Cuschieri as head coach ahead of the current campaign. And he is also enjoying working alongside Chesney, who he has been friends with for the past 28 years.

“I got Chez involved last season on a consultancy basis to help the forwards and he’s doing more this year, which is great,” said Farrell.

“Chez was a very promising opening bowler at Goodmayes when we first became friends and it’s great to have him with us.

“We also have a fantastic youth policy at our club now and we’re actually reaching into local schools with our own army of volunteer coaches.

“We have more than 150 kids here on a Sunday and it’s great to see.”

So too was Basildon’s win at the weekend which was secured after a fine start. Dan Rowley bagged Basildon’s first try, which was converted by Sam Ridley, before Jim Harmon and Jon Bonnett also touched down to make it 17-0 at half-time.

After the break, Bonnett bagged his second try of the game, which was converted by Ridley, before captain Harmon also scored a second try to complete a pleasing afternoon for an ever-improving Basildon outfit.

>CANVEY Island were beaten 39-5 by leaders Braintree.