Guernsey RFC 31 Colchester 1st XV 17
Colchester travelled to the Channel Islands to play their last game of the season and came away losing by 5 tries to 2.
It was a spirited display by the Blacks ably led by skipper Brett Cutbush standing in for injured Liam Pickett. The weather was perfect for the two running teams with warm, dry conditions prevailing. Colchester's large travelling contingent of fans gave great support to the lads and enjoyed a well contested game.
The first twenty minutes of the game saw the hosts throwing everything at Colchester but the Blacks defence held firm. Often several forays by Guernsey would lead to a turnover ball with Colchester's hardworking forwards getting the ball back to David Higgins, fly half, who would clear their lines with some long range kicking. The impasse was broken after 20 minutes when Guernsey won a penalty 10 metres from the Colchester line and prop Layton Batiste piled over for an unconventional try. The next 20 minutes saw both sides trying to find the ascendancy with the Guernsey pack mostly on top but with Colchester's defence holding firm.
An offence in a scrum on their 22 metre line led to Colchester being awarded a penalty just behind the halfway line. Higgins coolly slotted the kick bringing the score to 5-3. However the jubilation of the Colchester crowd was subdued when Guernsey scored a catch and drive try at the opposite end just before half time. During the interval Colchester coaches took hooker Charlie Thorogood off, moved prop Alfie Walsh to hooker and brought on prop Jerome Awesu.
When the game restarted Guernsey threw everything at Colchester but they continued with their own attacks. From one such attack Higgins broke through the middle at offloaded to Danny Whiteman who scored under the posts. Tom Miller converted and suddenly Colchester were in contention 12-10. Unfortunately soon afterwards centre George Liversidge was yellow carded. Guernsey used their superior numbers well and following a scrum 5 metres out, put the fullback Kenny Hellier over for a well converted try bringing the score to 19-10. Five minutes later he scored another try following a successful Guernsey line out.
Half an hour into the second half saw some disagreement between the sides leading to a yellow card for Guernsey's number 8 Dan Hill and a red card for Colchester's Jerome Awesu.
Guernsey pressed forward and, after a lot of pressure, left wing Dave Davison dived over for a converted try bringing the score to 31-10.
Colchester had the final say however, when lock Eli Castle broke free, ran 20 metres and then offloaded to flanker Alex Rayment, who scored under the posts.
There was a very fitting end to the proceedings when Kiwi Te Albert, playing his last game, converted the try with the final kick of the game. Final score 31-17.
Match report by Steve Whiteman