Chelmsford U17s show composure to secure the Essex Cup
By Andy Barker
Junior Blue Boys win to make it a league and cup double
On a wet and blustery Sunday, Chelmsford U17s travelled to the neutral ground of Southend RFC to play in the Essex Cup Final against Epping & Upper Clapton. Having playing in a thrilling semi-final against Westcliff and having won the league, Chelmsford were in touching distance of the league and cup double.
Epping won the toss and decided to play with the elements in the first half. Storm Freya was doing its best to influence play and with the wind in their faces, Chelmsford needed to look after the ball and play a controlled game.
The first score went to Epping with their centre running a fantastic line to break through the combative Jack Phelps and Max Findley. Despite the cover defence the ball was grounded and the Junior Blue Boys were behind - Chelmsford 0 Epping 5.
This group of players however have confidence in their own ability and with a calm reassurance started to build phases of play to worry the Epping defence. Toby Warren at scrum half and Tom Watson were becoming more influential in the game and the back row of Harry Foskett, Zac Burke and Ronan Kelly were busy in the loose.
The driving play of the Epping forwards was being nullified and as half time approached a score looked on the cards. This came from a fine run by right winger Lucas Whipps, who was stopped just short of the try line. The ball was popped to Watson who scored on the wide right. Half time score Chelmsford 5 Epping 5.
The next score could be crucial and with a few substitutions being made by Chelmsford at half time, the game was in the balance. Epping scored their second try early in the second half and with Fabian Bright now at scrum half the benefit of the elements needed to be felt - Chelmsford 5 Epping 10.
Some sensible kicking from the Chelmsford backs saw the Blue Boys in and around the final third of the pitch and with the lineout working well Chelmsford started to exert pressure. A fantastic kick and chase from Fabian Bright, turned the Epping defence, enabling Toby Warren to win the chase to touch down. Tom Watson converted – Chelmsford 12 Epping 10.
Epping rallied but superb defence prevented them from scoring and the final score that killed the game saw the ball spun wide and Max Findley score the important third try again converted by Watson. Final score – Chelmsford 19 Epping 10.
Team captain Ben Kerwin and captain of the day Joel Barker collected the cup with big smiles on their faces. The whole squad have had an input into this success. League and cup winners – it sounds good!