Thurrock 15 v 50 Maldon Under 13's
By Tony Martinez
The boys were happy.
Credit: Alasdair Cockett, The Thurrock Independant
Oakfield, the home of Thurrock Rugby was a hive of activity on Sunday morning 3rd March. Visiting teams from Upminster (u16s), Epping (15s), Woodford (14s), Maldon (13s) and Billericay for the minis all arrived to play.
Results for Tees throughout the morning were mixed but our friends from Maldon brought along a very impressive u13’s line-up for an Essex league match.
Maldon’s fullback, Frankie Clover (pictured) was an early try scorer as Thurrock u13s were caught napping in defence early on. Tees responded after 10 minutes as winger Mitchell Lilley put “the burners on” to outpace the Maldon defenders and score a fine try 5-5. Another try apiece, first for Maldon’s Cameron Holt and then Thurrock try talisman, Zach De Breuk made the score 10-10 after 15 minutes.
It was then that Maldon’s superiority upfront started to tell as it was the away side who gained possession of the ball at the breakdown and scrum resets. This was rewarded with two tries from full back Clover and scrum half Oliver Martinez, 20-10.
Tees were unlucky not to score when a surging run from scrum half Aaron Early set up defenders Dikati and Lilley who combined to run in a seemingly wonderful try only to be called back for an unlucky foot incursion into touch.
Maldon’s Max Jarman and Reece Meter added a further two tries to make the score 30-10 at the interval.
Both coaches shuffled their teams at half time with Tees Coach Driscoll bringing in William Edwards trio, Chapman, Healy and Martorana along with Gateway’s McAllister and O’Brien to add more aggression to proceedings for the home side in the second half. Tees matched Maldon upfront, helped in no small way by the driving force of Alfie Whale, introduced to the front row at the interval.
Play ebbed and flowed with Thurrock in the ascendancy and centres Reynolds and debutant Martorana making several surging runs. Maldon defended stoutly and it was not until the latter part of the second half that Cameron Holt unpicked the Thurrock defence to score. This was very quickly followed up by a Maldon hattrick of tries from first Martinez, then Clark and finally “player pick of the day” Maldon’s full back Frankie Clover.
Albeit that the score was 50-10, Tees remained in the hunt in the latter stages of the game as Healy and McAllister kept moving the ball swiftly and playing in the impressive debutant, Martorana who broke the Maldon defensive line to gain a final consolation try for the home side 15-50.”