MERSEA ISLAND 26 HITCHEN 13
London and South East RFU Junior Vase round two
A determined Mersea Island performance ensured the club went into the draw for the third round of the Junior Vase.
From the outset, Mersea were fired up for the first-ever encounter between two sides who play in their respective London three regional leagues.
Mersea were first to score when a clever cross-field diagonal kick by Paul LeMarquand found winger Amos, who stole the ball from the Hitchen full-back before providing centre Spencer Priestley with a good inside pass.
The Mersea centre touched down under the posts for a try converted by Dan Kerr.
The Mersea defence came under sustained pressure from Hitchen but excellent defensive tackling kept the visitors at bay.
Mersea stalwarts Andrew Windridge and James Lister were outstanding with their tackling and keeping the defence secure.
Following a brilliant turnover tackle by Lister, LeMarquand’s clever diagonal kick put Hitchen under pressure and Mersea gained a five-metre line-out in Hitchen’s defensive area.
Steve Daniels’ line-out take ensured the Mersea pack drove over the try-line for Dave Bredin to emerge underneath his pack’s huge mauling drive clutching the ball for a well-taken unconverted try.
From the restart, Hitchen put the Mersea defence under pressure and following superb work by Hitchen’s scrum-half, their wing scored a try which was coverted to bring the score back to 12-7.
The Mersea pack then dominated, causing a series of errors.
A loose Hitchen pass was latched on to by Amos, who sent out a superbly-passed ball 15 metres to Drum Sydenham, who crashed over for another well-taken try, which was converted by Kerr with a great kick from the touchline.
With Mersea leading 19-7 Hitchen struck back with a penalty to reduce the score to 19-10. Following intense pressure by Mersea a poor defensive line clearance kick was snapped up by Mersea’s flying wing Jordan Day.
He jinked passed four defenders from 40 metres out to score a magnificent try under the posts, converted by Kerr to put the score at 26-10.
Hitchen scored another penalty to put the score at 26-13 but Mersea stood firm and ran out deserved winners of a very enjoyable match.
Andrew Windridge was Mersea’s man-of-the-match.
Mersea are at home tomorrow when they entertain Wisbech (kick-off 2.30pm) in the league.