Billericay welcomed Harwich & Dovercourt to Willowbrook for the first home match of the season looking to get the first win on the board. Some changes from last weeks trip to Maldon saw Huggins, Lee, Cameron, Mugford and debutant Harry Clarke come into the match day squad.
The game got underway and Billericay made a strong start with early dominance in the collision with the forwards making yards with their carries generating clean ball for Tweedie and Kell but Harwich dug deep to force errors and clear their lines.
Eventually the pressure told on the Harwich defence with a powerful driving maul from the Billericay forwards saw Billy Crossman touch down by the posts. Gethan Burgess added the extras.
Burgess soon extended the lead to 10-0 with a penalty but a Billericay error straight from kick off saw them on the back foot and Harwich had their turn to look for points. Some good defence from Billericay saw Harwich kept out but a penalty infringement saw Harwich slot a penalty to reduce the score to 10-3 at half time.
The second half struggled to get going but Billericay were still in control and taking advantage of Harwich handling errors to keep and retain possession. The forwards continued to dominate the collision with Harwich having their game plan disrupted with some injuries forcing some re-positioning.
The next try came from prop Matt Lewis who powered his way over with Burgess again converting to extend the lead to 17-3.
With momentum with them, Billericay continued to push on for further scores but only for poor execution and some stubborn Harwich defence to keep them out.
A converted breakaway try from Harwich with minutes remaining gave them hope of coming away from Willowbrook with more but Billericay held out for their first victory of the season.
Head Coach Tony Knowles commented after “Really pleased to be off the mark and the lads played well. I thought we should have had more scores and the scoreline perhaps didn’t reflect our dominance in some areas but credit to Harwich, they defended well and kept us out, even with some of their key players going off for injury disrupting their flow.”
“It’s still very early days in the season but it was a good win and the lads are delighted and what was also great was the number of support on the sidelines especially from our youth teams, which was great to see”.
The 1st XV now have an extended break and next travel to Millwall on Saturday 19th October.