Colchester Ravens 52 | 12 Ealing Amateurs 1st XV
Perfect conditions and skillful rugby sees the Ravens at the best as they put a strong 50 points on Ealing
The first festive fixture of the season at Mill Road featured Colchester’s 2nd XV taking on Ealing Amateurs at an early kick off on Pitch 3. Having snowed heavily on Thursday evening, Saturday’s weather was cool but sunny, and the conditions were perfect for running ‘Ravens Rugby’. This was Colchester’s first home game since their first win of the season against Westcombe Park in October and it didn’t disappoint.
With the kick off going to Colchester, the team set off into gear early and from some excellent phases and passing through the forwards and backs, right wing Paul Summerson was on the end of the line to score the first try of the game after only 2 minutes; Jon Perry converted for a 7-0 lead. This seemed to shock Ealing into action and for the next few minutes the Raven’s couldn’t get out of their own half. However when play eventually did go up field, Paul Summerson was again on hand to touch down after good lineout ball from the forwards. Perry again converted for 14-0, with only 8 minutes gone. Having secured the kick off, Colchester looked comfortable on the exit and pushed the play back down the pitch, but with a good execution of skill, Ealing worked their way back and eventually cut through to score their first after quarter of an hour and reduce the lead to 14-7. With the game being fought on the middle of the park, it was the Ravens who squeezed one of what would become a precession of penalties from the Ealing pack. Going right, Paul Summerson capped off another well worked build up to score a first half hat-trick with only 27 minutes gone. Perry just missing the touch line conversion and it was 19-7 to Colchester. For the next 10 minutes it again became a dog fight, but with the home side edging it with greater cohesion. On the last play of the half, another fine display of phase play resulted in replacement Flanker Matt Hexley dotting down; the Tom Jepson converted try giving Colchester a handy lead of 26-7 at the break.
On the commencement of the second half, Colchester managed to gather possession and work their way up inside the Ealing 22, wide on the left hand side. With a mixture of forwards and backs stretching right across the pitch, Colchester scored their fifth after the best phase of the match. From the ruck, the ball swung right to a pod of forwards, who shuffled the ball out the back to an arcing runner; the ball was then moved on again, and again pulled out the back to Fullback Jack O’Sullivan, his pass hitting Centre Jona Crisp who then danced through the flailing tackles to score. Paul Summerson stepped up and converted for a 33-7 lead after a whirlwind 2 minutes. For nearly quarter of an hour, the game rumbled on without any score, but with Colchsters scrum getting the upper hand, the penalties and turnovers started to flow. Eventually the ball went wide right, then back across the pitch to handy Left Winger Will Allen who scored his first, and Colchester’s sixth, for a 38-7 lead. On the restart, Colchester were not awake and Ealing touched down almost immediately for a converted try. But any celebration from the visitors was short lived; more powerful set piece work from all eight forwards gave front foot ball, resulting in Adam Cook scoring on 65 minutes. Again the try was converted and the Ravens had an unassailable 45-12 advantage. Then with the match almost over, Colchester got their eight try of the game with returning prop Troy Palmer feeding off more good work from his forwards to power over from five metres out. The converted try gave Colchester a 52-12 win, their biggest home margin since putting 53 on London Irish in November 2016. Although there are those that are mentioned for their try scoring exploits, the entire squad from Loosehead Prop Jake Crowther to substitute Adam O’Leary put in monumental shift, one which match-day Captain Pat Murphy and the rest of the Senior coaching team can be proud of.