Chingford RFC 27 | 17 Colchester 1st XV
Ill-discipline lead to Colchester's demise as they lose their first game of the season at the hands of Chingford
This was definitely a game of two halves with Colchester being ahead at half time and Chingford coming back in the second half to gain a 27-17 bonus point victory.
Weather conditions were good however the pitch needed sand to soak up lying water. Due to Liam Pickett being unavailable scrum half Brett Cutbush took over as captain. Also in the absence of forward Joe McMillan, coach Lee Soper made a welcome return on the bench.
Chingford got the game underway and immediately Colchester came back at them. Soon they were awarded a penalty for a spear tackle which fly half David Higgins slotted over putting them 3 points in the lead after less than 5 minutes. There followed 15 minutes of end to end play with both these top-of-the-table teams trying to gain the ascendancy. Then, following a successful scrum in their half, the Blacks attacked with Higgins breaking through the defence, offloading to centre Shelford Meads who put fellow Kiwi Cutbush over for a fine try. Higgins converted and suddenly Colchester were 0-10 ahead.
For the next ten minutes the intensity of the game and the watching spectators increased. The referee yellow carded Chingford’s fullback for a blatant barge but undaunted the hosts kept attacking Colchester through their forwards until a flanker peeled off the back to score an unconverted try just before half time.
Disaster hit the visitors at the start of the second half when Higgins pulled a hamstring and had to leave the field of play. Debutant Lewis Williams came off the bench to go to scrum half with Cutbush moving to fly half.
Having served out his ten minutes off the field, Chingford’s fullback re-joined the fray and soon put in a high kick which he followed, gathered and scored a converted try to put them ahead 12-10. Later the Blacks’ No 8 Ollie Pickett was yellow carded for offside and Chingford converted the awarded penalty. 15-10 and Colchester now had a fight on their hands particularly when first prop Joe Reid and then hooker Simon Gray went off with injuries. Prop Jerone Awesu and lock Soper came off the bench and flanker Danny Whiteman went to hooker.
The referee, seeking control of this bruising game, issued yet another yellow card, this time to flanker Joe Beckett reducing the Blacks to 13 players. With time running out Chingford’s flanker scored again increasing their lead to 20-10. Annoyed Colchester centre George Liversidge talked back to the referee and received a yellow card. Pickett re-joined the game but Chingford pressed home their number advantage and were eventually awarded a penalty try. 27-10 but quick thinking winger James Crozier took a rapid restart, ran the length of the pitch and put Pickett over for a quick try in reply. Cutbush converted and the final whistle blew.
Despite losing this game Colchester stay third in the league and are well placed to stay in contention at the top of the table.