HARWICH and Dovercourt romped to a 45-0 victory in their final Essex League Shield One fixture at Pegasus Palmerians.

Late changes saw second row Richard Woods start instead of the injured Kyran Green.

David Parkin pushed Damien Smith onto the bench, with Robert Wood propping for Harley Hema and Sam Male at full-back.

These changes did not affect the way Harwich played.

They were soon into their style of attacking, running rugby.

With the backs causing problems, it was no surprise that the first try was scored by winger Sam Jewell, following good handling and support play. Male landed the conversion.

Not to be outshone, the forwards also started to dominate, particularly at scrum time through new-boy Wood, ably assisted by hooker Jack Cairns and prop Paul Sewell.

Having worked their way into the Palmerians 22-metre area, number eight Simon Palmer, with ball in hand, charged through to score the second try which Male converted.

Harwich were into the swing of things now, pulling all the strings, particularly with man-of-the-match Owen Cowley causing havoc in the centres.

Good interplay between forwards and backs gave him the opportunity to step through the onrushing back line and score the next try.

Male, who was having a tremendous game, kicked the conversion.

Harwich were put under pressure for the next few minutes but defended well.

Following a kick through, Male gathered the ball, putting a towering kick up for the backs to chase. The ball landed just outside Palmerians' 22, with their full-back unable to get underneath it.

Flying winger Adam Palmer committed to the chase and was the beneficiary of a fortunate bounce as it sat up into his hands and he sped under the posts.

Male slotted the easy conversion.

The hot, sunny conditions made it difficult for both sides to keep their tempo going, although Harwich continued to boss possession and territory.

At times, the second half became a little scrappy, particularly in the forwards where there were some heated exchanges.

Trying to keep to their structure, the visitors continued to pressure their hosts.

Wood made an early breakthrough, scoring after one of his trademark show and go moves.

The conversion was missed.

As always the backs, not to be outdone, created a chance for the old stager at centre, Adrian Dalby, to cross the line for the next try.

Again Male struggled to convert.

The game started to shift as Palmerians, keeping the ball, exerted pressure on the Harwich defence, getting close to the try line in the dying seconds.

The defence held out and were awarded a penalty just five metres from their own try line.

The referee indicated to both teams this would be the last play of the game.

Expecting the ball to be kicked into touch, both sets of forwards relaxed.

However, Sean Mills junior, playing at fly-half, called for the ball and set off up the field.

Cowley, in support, took the pass just inside his own 22-metre area, galloping away down the pitch with the home defence trying to get across to tackle him.

The tall centre read the play, changing direction in a diagonal run from the right to the left, managing to outpace the defenders and score in the corner.

Mills confidently slotted the very difficult conversion to seal a good win.

Writtle won their game at Kings Cross Steelers, leaving Harwich in second place by three points.

It means all three Harwich adult sides - the firsts, seconds and Owls - all finished as runners-up in their respective leagues.