Colchester 1st XV 20 Brentwood RFC 15
A final flurry steals Colchester the win as they extend their winning streak to 4 games
Before this match started all those present at Mill Road gave a minutes applause in memory of Josh Gilbert, the Thurston player, who tragically died of a heart attack last weekend during a game against Hadleigh.
Colchester had to battle from behind, in the game that followed, eventually coming out victorious. Fly half David Higgins kicking into a slight wind got the Blacks under way but the visitors came back immediately moving the ball first left, then right before Bradley, their No 8, scored an unconverted try under the posts.
Even this early setback didn’t seem to stir Colchester into action and the next ten minutes was a case of them holding back an onslaught by Brentwood. Matt Wadling came on for injured fullback Will Brown but still Colchester were on the back foot.
Both sides were giving away too many penalties leaving Higgins and Brentwood’s Burr to gain territory with their long kicks; indeed Burr missed a kick for the posts shortly afterwards. Higgins chose to kick for the corners which, in the long run, was equally unsuccessful.
Wadling’s shoulder was playing up so he was replaced on the pitch by prop Jerone Awesu which led to a bit of shuffling of the Colchester team. Just before the interval Brentwood won their scrum and moved the ball along their backs to left wing Pollinger who dropped it with the try line begging. However Brentwood persisted in their attack and soon flanker Vogel was over for a try that Burr converted to increase their lead to 0-12.
Similar to the start of the first half, the crowd didn’t have to wait long for a score in the second. This time it was Colchester getting the points through the brilliant work of Will Brown. Receiving early ball, he sped up the left wing, chipped the ball ahead over the defence, rounded them and scored in the corner.
At last Colchester came alive. The rather scrappy scrums and lineouts tightened up especially when hooker Simon Gray joined the fray. After about 20 minutes of hard graft eventually they got their reward by patiently going through the phases. Prop James Mitchell claimed a pushover try involving most of the pack to level the score at 12-12.
Ten minutes later Brentwood centre Stannard converted a penalty for the visitors putting them back in the lead 12-15. Their fullback had a ten minute rest when he was yellow-carded leaving a tense period up until the end of the game.
A clever attack down the left by Black’s scrum half Brett Cutbush interplaying with wing Harry Barton lead to the latter scoring in the corner; 20-15 and the clock running down. “Play it safe” came the message from the coaches which, to their credit the team heeded, and there was great relief when flanker Danny Whiteman hoofed the ball off the pitch to end the game.