Upminster 29, Wymondham 6

Wymondham returned from a tough encounter at Upminster with no reward for a battling team effort, although they will be heartened by some encouraging performances.

While the final score may suggest a one-sided affair the result was in doubt until the last 15 minutes.

Upminster having won the toss, they chose, as expected, to play the first half up the notorious slope and against the wind, expecting the home forwards to take full advantage of the elements in the second half.

Wymondham were soon to concede, however, when Upminster were awarded a scrum for a crooked Wymondham throw into the lineout. They controlled the ball well before spinning it out to their backs who finished in routine fashion to leave an easy conversion.

With half-time approaching, Wymondham were having a fair share of possession but again suffered for their lack of bulk up front. Upminster were awarded a five metre scrum and easily drove over the line to claim their second try which was duly converted to make it 14-0 at the break.

The first 15 minutes of the second half were evenly contested but, on the hour mark, Wymondham suffered a blow when hard-tackling captain Pena Sokia was forced to retire with a knee injury.

Shortly after, Wymondham recorded their first score when Sims, who had taken over the kicking duties, slotted a penalty after Upminster had been caught offside.

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The Red and Blacks now began to come into their own with Loveridge showing his pedigree with some fine kicks while superbly marshalling his back line. Upminster eventually transgressed to slow down a ruck ball and conceded a penalty in front of the posts which Sims duly bagged to make the score 14-6.

At this point Wymondham were beginning to think that they could return to Norfolk with some reward but almost immediately they were caught offside and from the penalty Upminster increased their lead.

Unfortunately, the pressure began to tell on the pack and the hosts scored two more tries in the closing stages, one of which was converted.

Wymondham will take comfort from the performances of Loveridge and Wilson in the backs and young Anderson-Brown at scrum-half.

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