- Eastern Counties ousted
- Crow and Terelak with decisive tries
Surrey claimed their first County Championship Division 2 Plate with a convincing 17-3 triumph over Eastern Countries at Twickenham.
Surrey Captain Armand Roux said: "To come up a division and perform like that is incredible. I'm so proud of the boys for the way we keep improving, keep getting better.
"They tested us out wide but we withstood their challenge, it's been a fantastic day."
Mike Terelak and Will Crow tries, both converted by Matt Noble, meant that Surrey went into the break 14-3 in front.
James Stokes’ penalty was Eastern Counties’ sole response as Richie Andrews’ men controlled much of the first half.
Neither team could find a score in the second period until Noble kicked a three-pointer four minutes from time.
After dominating the Country Championship Shield Final, winning the competition three years in a row, Surrey showed that their promotion to Division 2 was the right decision.
Surrey Coach Richie Andrews added: "I never doubt we could achieve this and who knows for next year. We just told ourselves after the game, this doesn't end here, we keep going, but we'll enjoy this tonight."
They started impressively against Eastern Counties and opened the scoring in the ninth minute when a scything Noble break was finished off by wing Terelak.
Despite that outstandingly worked effort, it was proving to be a brutal encounter with both sets of forwards looking to impose their physicality.
However, it was Counties who controlled the scrum battle in the opening period and, from an infringement at the set-piece, Stokes reduced the deficit to 7-3.
Steve Hipwell was also displaying plenty of power in open field as Eastern Counties got themselves back into the contest, but it was Andrews’ side who consistently threatened to produce something special with ball in hand.
And so it proved when Crow spotted an opportunity to take a quick-tap penalty. The scrum half then displayed impressive pace and footwork to weave around a number of attempted tackles to touch down.
Noble’s conversion made it 14-3 at the interval, although Eastern Counties had a try ruled out just before half-time for blocking.
While Rowland Winter’s team had the edge in the scrum in the first half, Surrey assumed command of that area after the break.
They pinned Counties back in their own half for much of third quarter and, despite failing to take the opportunities that came their way, it wasted precious minutes.
To their credit, Eastern Counties were tenacious in defence and an excellent cover tackle prevented James Fa’aatuatu from touching down.
But they failed to really test the opposition and, following Noble’s late three-pointer, Surrey went away with a deserved victory in the Plate final.
Eastern Counties: Penalties: Stokes
Surrey: Tries: Terelak, Crow. Conversions: Noble 2. Penalties: Noble.
15 James Stokes,14 Mike Gillick,13 Albert Portsmouth,12 James Ayrton,11 Mike Ayrton,10 James Shanahan (captain),9 Ben Penfold, 1 Matt Worrall-Clare, 2 Ean Griffiths, 3 Sisa Naqasima, 4 Martin Wolfenden, 5 Ollie Marriott, 6 Aki Lea, 7 Simon Johnson, 8 Steve Hipwell
Replacements: 16 Simon Uzokwe, 17 Sam Bixby,18 Red Newberry, 19 Conor Gracey, 20 Des Brett, 21 Harry Peck, 22 Ben Murphy
15 Matthew Betty, 14 Mike Terelak, 13 Matt Noble, 12 Edward Carne,11 James Fa’aatuatu, 10 Cameron Pimlow, 9 Will Crow, 1 Ben Knight, 2 James Catton, 3 Richard Nunn, 4 Armand Roux (captain), 5 Elliot Awin, 6 Oliver Edwards, 7 Harry Elbrow, 8 Edward Lee
Replacements: 16 Sam Johnson, 17 Seun Olayanju, 18 Nicholas Haigh, 19 Harry Watts, 20 Thomas Eastham, 21 Oliver Turner, 22 Sean Cunningham