Colchester 1st XV 81 | 7 South Woodham Ferrers
A complete team performance ensure Colchester dominate in their penultimate game of the season
Colchester notched up an impressive victory against South Woodham Ferrers scoring thirteen tries to the visitors’ solitary try. Both winger Dave Brennan and centre Joe Flexman got hat tricks whilst skipper Liam Pickett and centre Damien Brambley bagged two each.
The calm and sunny conditions suited the Blacks style and they dominated most phases of the play. In the forwards, the three Pickett brothers all turned in good performances ably supported by the rest of the pack both in the set pieces and the loose play.
Woodham kicked off and soon Colchester pressed forward and won their lineout close to the visitors’ try line. Brambley weaved through the defence and fed Brennan who scored a converted try in the corner after only three minutes of play.
Back came Woodham and a loose pass was intercepted by their left wing who ran fifty metres to score a converted try which turned out to be Woodham’s only score of the afternoon. The scores were now level but Colchester’s team strength soon told and before long they moved the ball left for lock Pickett to race over for his first try. Wing James Crozier missed the conversion but he was successful five minutes later when Brennan crossed for his second try.
Scrum-half Lewis Williams was taken off and centre Brett Cutbush took his position allowing Flexman off the bench to go in the centre. Before long Cutbush finished a clinical move by the Blacks to go over for the bonus point fourth try which Crozier converted. From the restart, Flexman attacked up the middle and Woodham received a penalty for being offside. Fly-half David Higgins kicked ahead and fullback Matt Wadling chased and retrieved the ball. He quickly fed Brambley who jinked through the defence to score a great try. Soon Liam Pickett claimed his second try after good running and linking between flankers Danny Whiteman and Ollie Pickett.
Indeed the back row were now on fire and before long they interlinked again for Whiteman to go over in the corner. Just before halftime it was Ollie Pickett’s turn to score after a successful catch and drive lineout. The score was now 50-7 at the interval and there was to be no let up in the Blacks’ effort.
Flexman scored twice more to gain his hat trick in a Man-of-the-Match performance and Brennan added a third score also. Brambley got his second score after an impressive 50-metre weaving run. The Colchester front row of Joe McMillan, Rhys Hartley, Jerone Awesu or Joe Reid played exceptionally well pushing back the Woodham scrum and charging forward in the loose.
Hooker Hartley was throwing accurately and often leading the charge into opposition territory. Unfortunately with the score at 81-7 he sustained a bad leg injury in a tackle and the referee decided to end the game five minutes early so that he could receive treatment.
This emphatic win maintains Colchester’s unbeaten home record and confirms their third place in the league with just one game to go.