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Ravens soar to a big win on a freezing afternoon

Ravens soar to a big win on a freezing afternoon

Doug Boulton4 Dec 2023 - 10:33
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By Edward Marriage

With the first team’s match at Tring frozen off, The Ravens duly led the way for Colchester rugby club this weekend, extending their lead at the top of the Counties 2 league with a comfortable 41-14 win over promotion rivals Newmarket.
As the thermometer dropped below freezing at kick-off, and the sizeable crowd earning nearly as many plaudits as the players, it was Newmarket – third in the table at the start of the day – who struck first with an interception try inside two minutes.
But from then on it was all Colchester. Jack Pemberton crossed for two well-taken tries to put The Ravens 10-7 ahead, with the only concern a facial injury to Callum Jeffery, who was making his return to action after a spell out with both concussion and suspension. Fortunately, it was nothing more than a cut to his nose, no problem for the affable prop.
The Ravens had time to extend their lead before half-time through the industry of lock forward Joe Colcomb following a speedy break by Matt Parker. Joe Flexman converted to make it 17-7 at the break.
The Ravens had the bonus point in the bag five minutes into the second half through replacement forward Gary Palmer, and with Julian Chamberlain and Flexman crossing for further tries before the hour mark, the 2s were nicely boosting their points difference.
A lapse in concentration let in Newmarket for their second try, but Colcomb soon re-established order with his second and The Ravens’ seventh try, Flexman kicking his third conversion.
The result gives The Ravens a 12-point lead at the top of the league, albeit having played one more game than their rivals.
Coach Charlie Shepherd was delighted with the win, especially with the team restricting Newmarket’s scoring opportunities.
While the first team match at Tring was postponed until January 20th, results elsewhere meant Colchester stay 11 points clear at the top of Regional I South East with a game in hand. Next up for them is a final home match of the year on Saturday against Shelford (KO 3pm).
It’s to the huge credit of club officials and backroom teams that three matches were able to be played at Raven Park on an Arctic afternoon. The 3s beat Brightlingsea 36-14 while the 4s lost an absolute thriller, 47-54 to Woodbridge 2s.
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