With Thurrock in need of a win to secure fourth spot and a place in the play-offs, they got off to a flying start, in conditions that were ideal for Thurrock’s style of fast open play. Chingford’s ground is normally associated with boggy pitches, being next door to reservoirs, but their reserve pitches were ideal. From the start, the home side had all of the possession and battered Thurrock’s defence, which was resolute. However, once Tees got their hands on the ball, Chingford could only stand by and watch, as forward and back interpassing tore clean through the defence for Full Back Ali MacDonald to fly over for Tees first.
It wasn’t long before Fly Half Ben Madden made a fine individual effort, handing off five tacklers, before crashing over under the posts, duly converted by Scrum Half Aaron Burns. With Tees forwards dominating every facet of play, including the formidable combination of Keefe, Keefe Jnr and Pease in the front row of the scrum, Tees won a scrum against the head and No. 8 Dan Kemp, scooped up the ball and dashed the fifty metres to outpace the defence and score under the posts.
With Tees leading 19-0 the home side picked themselves up and, led by the Fly Half Jim Moore, took a quick penalty and ran wide, passed some languid tackling, to score for a deserved try. Thurrock immediately retaliated with forward pressure at a scrum close to Chingford’s line, which resulted in a push over try for Lee Herrington. Chingford again attacked Thurrock and crossed the Tees line for their second but, the final word was left for Tees Ali MacDonald, who showed his class by first outpacing the defence, to chip ahead and recollect to go over out wide and effectively seal the game.
A fine display from the whole side, with Adam Towler, Paul McCarthy, Rees Collins and Karl Warren deserving a special mention for sound performances.