Islanders fail to make the most of the conditions

Essex County Standard: Islanders fail to make the most of the conditions Islanders fail to make the most of the conditions

MERSEA ISLAND 5 UPMINSTER 23

London League division three north east

On a very wet pitch with a strong cross wind Mersea failed to capitalise on the first-half slope advantage.

Despite keeping Upminster penned in their own half for long periods no score materialised by half-time.

After five minutes, Mersea were awarded a penalty directly in front of the posts but elected to run the ball instead of taking the points.

The slippery ball was knocked on as Mersea attacked, with the home side failing to use the difficult conditions to their advantage.

Mersea Hooker Andy Khan was sin-binned for failing to roll away in a tackle, but despite being a man down some good defensive work by Rob Pickard and Brendan Cook prevented Upminster from scoring.

Upminster started the second half determined to play in Mersea’s half, using the slope well with good line kicking to put Mersea under pressure.

From a scrum, the visitors transferred the ball to fly-half Jaime Pallet, who put in a drop goal from 35 metres to put the visitors 3-0 up.

Five minutes later Upminster centre Thompson repeated another fine drop goal.

Upminster continued to maximise the playing conditions by kicking long at every opportunity, forcing Mersea to defend in their own 22.

A poor pass from Mersea was snatched by the Upminster winger to crash over for a converted try to lead 13-0.

Mersea then lost the outstanding Pickard with an injury and immediately gave away a penalty which the visitors converted to lead 16-0.

Substitute Ben Whiting was harshly sin-binned for coming in on the wrong side of a ruck, and yet again Mersea were down to 14 men.

The pressure told when another mistake by Mersea allowed Upminster to score a try under the posts, which was converted to put the score at 23-0.

In the dying minutes, the Mersea pack put in a superb 20-metre rolling maul for flanker Cook to emerge with an unconverted try.

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