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Eton Manor coach Connors not taking Old Haberdashers lightly

Michael Eghan scored two tries for Eton Manor against Romford & Gidea Park (pic: Martin Pearl) Michael Eghan scored two tries for Eton Manor against Romford & Gidea Park (pic: Martin Pearl)

Friday, March 21, 2014
5:02 PM

Eton Manor visit London One North basement-boys Old Haberdashers at the weekend, and coach Jamie Connors knows his side have to show as much respect as they would any other side.

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Manor continued their push for promotion with a hard-fought 24-15 win over local rivals Romford & Gidea Park last weekend, where they had to battle back from a 7-5 half-time deficit.

And although they came away with five points in the end, Connors was disappointed by their below-par performance on the day.

“I’m pleased we dug in and got the win and at the end of the day you can only pick up five points, but I wasn’t overly pleased with the performance,” said Connors.

“We’ve had a couple of 
injuries in recent weeks and Adrian Hogdson made his debut so it was nice to get him involved. But I felt we were only playing at 60-70 per cent of what we are capable of. We were dropping a lot of ball that we wouldn’t normally do, but we upped our game in the second half and for 20-30 minutes it did seem to click thankfully.

“That is a positive and at this stage of the season it isn’t just about performance, you have to make sure you get over the winning line and we did just that.”

Michael Eghan came off the bench with the desired effect of scoring twice. And to have someone like that to call up when required is a massive boost for Connors, who lost Alfie Hutcherson to a season-ending dislocated shoulder.

“Michael wasn’t in the starting XV as he couldn’t get to training during the week because of work commitments,” said Connors.

“But he put in a really good performance and to have someone like Michael who can create something out of nothing in your team is a great boost for us.

“Unfortunately we’ve lost Alfie for the season and with Kyle Butler also out with a broken hand it is a blow, but it allows others the chance to stand up and be counted.”

Their lead at the top of the table over Westcliff remains a point going into the last four games and though Old Haberdashers are already relegated, Connors knows there is no room for complacency.

“There’s a little bit more on us now we are top,” he said. “We’ve been in the top two for most of the season and although Old Haberdashers are relegated they’ll be keen to knock us off. We can’t take them lightly.”

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