Colchester 1st XV 14 | 8 Old Haberdashers'
A narrow home victory for Colchester's youthful side
Visitors Old Haberdashers had only won one game this season whilst Colchester had only lost one game so expectations were high amongst the home crowd.
With the absence through injury of both skipper Liam Pickett and hooker Simon Gray debutant Rory Miller and Tom Dales took their places with Harrison Pickett on the bench for his first game of the season. All three youngsters performed well.
Old Habs kicked off and Colchester immediately came back into their half. Soon the visitors gained a turnover and their inside centre made a beeline for the Black’s try line only to be stopped in his tracks by fullback Will Brown. Later on at a Old Hab’s lineout Rory Miller stole the ball, linked with man-of-the match prop James Mitchell who made 20 metres and forced a scrum. The Old Habs’ scrum half put in a box kick which Brown deftly gathered and soon was up the other end scoring an unconverted try.
Old Habs soon replied when they attacked from the base of a scrum and their fullback went over to even the score 5-5. There followed a period of end to end stuff with both teams trying to assert their authority. The impasse was broken when Colchester were awarded a penalty in the middle of the visitor’s half and wing James Crozier slotted over the first of three successful penalties.
If the home crowd were expecting a sudden surge in front by the Blacks they were to be disappointed. Old Habs raised their game and it was proving to be a difficult contest. Props Mitchell and Joe McMillan were outstanding in the tight and loose aspects of the game and, following a charge lead by them, Colchester won another successful penalty. 11-5 and the hosts were a little bit more comfortable and so the score remained until half time.
Jerone Awesu replaced Tom Dales in the front row and Harrison Pickett took his brother’s place at No 8 whilst Ollie went on the flank at the expense of Joe Beckett. The game restarted and centres George Liversidge and Shelford Meads worked hard to break through the defence. Half backs Matt Wadling and Brett Cutbush also tried several moves but the Old Habs’ defence held up.
For the next 20 minutes the game developed into cut and thrust by both teams with both defences repelling many attacks. Harrison Pickett made his presence felt at No 8 often charging forward from the back of the Black pack.
Old Habs kept up the pressure for their part but Colchester’s defence, particularly in the back row, was equal to the task. Eventually Old Habs’ fly half successfully converted a penalty in the dying moments of the game with Colchester gaining a narrow 14-8 victory.