Dagenham 34 Chelmsford 39
Regional 2 Anglia
This was a fine win for Chelmsford and lifted them up two places in the league and out of the relegation zone. Dagenham, newly promoted this season, have beaten several of the top sides earlier in the season but a good performance by the scrum particularly in the lineout and some excellent kicking by Jack Lavin and Jamie Morrish saw Chelmsford secure the win.
Chelmsford, again, had a slow start and were almost a try down when the powerful Dagenham centre dropped the ball over the line. After five minutes Chelmsford kicked the ball deep and Dagenham returned it with their kick which Jimmy Allway caught at high speed and evading three tackles dived over for a fine individual try, well converted by Morrish. Morrish increased the lead five minutes later with a penalty.
Dagenham with some hard running backs broke through the Chelmsford defence to score two tries and take the lead. Chelmsford were not about to give way and won some excellent ball, well distributed by Alex Hutchinson at scrum half. Levin produced a terrific cross field kick which was caught by the Chelmsford winger who fed inside to Joel Pearson to score. Chelmsford continued to win good ball and Lavin repeated the cross-field kick, this time to the other wing where Allway caught the ball and went in to score a converted try. Morrish kicked another penalty. But just before halftime Dagenham’s hard running backs, bulldozed their way to score a try under the Chelmsford posts.
Half Time; Dagenham 19 Chelmsford 25
The second half was evenly poised with both sides going close, a drop ball or a forward pass denying probable tries. Chelmsford were always winning the lineouts, with a good choice of calls, and some fine throwing in and catching. Dagenham because of injury had to have uncontested scrums, but they came back into the game with a break through the centre of the field from their own half to score a converted try. Then Morrish smacked a fifty metre penalty over. Dagenham came back to tie the game with a try to tie the game 31-31
The last ten minutes was critical, the Chelmsford defence was now more solid and crunching tackles were being put in. Their superiority in the lineout paid off when a catch and drive from five metres got Joel Barker over the line for a well worked try. Morrish increased the lead with a forty metre penalty. In the dying minutes Dagenham reduced their arrears with a penalty just before the final whistle. This was probably Chelmsford’s best performance of the season and will place them with a lot of confidence going into next Saturdays away game against Saffron Walden under floodlights kick off 3.00pm
Picture Credit - Rob Evans.
Match Report - Andy Green.