Colchester 1st XV 46 | 7 North Walsham
Colchester sustain their season-long unbeaten home record in a thrilling encounter with North Walsham
A large crowd watched Colchester comprehensively beat visitors North Walsham Vikings to finish the season unbeaten at ‘fortress’ Mill Road and placed third in the league scoring over a thousand points.
Man-of-the-Match Damien Brambley got a brace of tries, constantly weaving his magic with his elusive running. Skipper Liam Pickett also had an excellent game often stealing opposition ball in the lineouts giving Colchester plenty of possession with which to launch many attacks to claim six tries in this pulsating game. Once again wing James Crozier put on a fine kicking display converting all but one of the tries as well as two penalties.
The team was much the same as in previous weeks with Charlie Thorogood returning at hooker and Matt Wadling back at scrum-half with Brett Cutbush taking the fullback role.
Playing into the wind Colchester got off to a slow start and conceded a try after only ten minutes. Vikings’ fullback Josh Brown crashed over under the posts with scrum-half Lee Thomson converting. Stirred into action Colchester soon came back into their opponents’ half and overturned a Viking scrum. Liam Pickett broke through the cover, fed prop Joe Reid who scored a great try.
Colchester never looked back after this score and all fifteen players raised their game. From an attack deep in their own half, the ball was moved to Cutbush who sold a dummy to wrong-foot the Viking defence. He then scampered through to score Colchester’s second try. When the play restarted there was an unfortunate clash of bodies resulting in Reid sustaining a nasty head injury. The referee decided to continue the game on an adjacent pitch as Reid couldn’t be moved and would eventually be taken to hospital to have twenty staples in his wound. Jerone Awesu came off the bench and play resumed at the new location.
Before long the Blacks won a penalty which Crozier stroked between the posts. Then came a brilliant try when Colchester won a lineout, moved the ball through their backs for Crozier to score just before halftime.
It was decided to move the game back to the main pitch where Colchester now had the advantage of a following wind. Fly-half David Higgins was to make great use of this often putting in long-range kicks to give Colchester territorial advantage. After five minutes No 8 Ollie Pickett broke from the back of a scrum, intercepted a pass and earned the Blacks a penalty which Crozier converted.
Later Cutbush linked with flankers Danny Whiteman and Joe Beckett with the latter almost scoring. Subsequently, Wadling disrupted his opposite number at the back of a Viking scrum, the stolen ball was moved left for Brambley to score. Lock Joe Colcomb was replaced ending an excellent season for this up and coming player. With time running out Brambley and Crozier both scored again to round off this stunning victory.