Match Report by Adam Evans
The sun was shining, there was little to no breeze and there was a game of rugby to be played as Dagenham IIs made the long trip into deepest, darkest Kent. What could go wrong?
How about a very disrupted run up to kick-off where heavy traffic played its part in delaying arrivals. Not to mention the very limited warm up as game time approached. Evans looked to turn the situation around by winning the toss, his first duty as captain for the forthcoming season, which he did and opted to play up the slight incline.
This proved not enough as almost immediately after the kick-off the home side played to their strengths as their sizable and well drilled forwards, marshalled by 9 and 10, took the direct route to the Ds line. Dagenham now knew they were in a game and under the pump spending the first 10 minutes in their own half. This inevitably led to two tries from the home side which were converted, 14-0 down.
As the game progressed Dangenham started to wake up and this led to improvements in territory, possession and a growing dominance in the scrum. The D's could not be denied and a patient build up led to Hoggy going over for the first Dagenham try of the match, unconverted 14-5. This seemed to stun the home side and there was a sense that the tide was turning and before they could regroup the east London side struck again with Darkwa junior dotting one down making up for the one denied just earlier (thanks Russ), unconverted 14-10. Dagenham were in full flight and it was a thing of beauty, even Tank had a smile on his face despite the sweltering heat. To finish the half off Jack managed to glide over after a Barbarians-esque build up for yet another, Dagnenham were motoring, converted 14-17.
Down the slope for the second half and the script was unchanged. Perry, a rock at fullback all game, scored first and this was well deserved, converted 14-24. Then Shad who battered their defensive line all game touched down, unconverted 14-29. To round the day off in almost perfect fashion young Will, who seems to eat the ground up with his massive stride bagged what might be his first senior try, well deserved. A great result for the IIs.
Special mention goes to Garwood for manfully stepping into the front row, Dave G for soaking up the "accidental digs" and not rising to the bait, Daniel Wilson for taking the field after a very long time off and almost scoring and Meggsie for lasting the whole game.
Well done boys it bodes well for the coming season but there is work to do.