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Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Match reports from Saturday’s games from the local rugby union circuit
LONDON 2 NORTH
BRAINTREE produced their best performance of the season as they put Stowmarket to the sword at Robbs Wood on Saturday.
Braintree scored in the 18th minute to make the breakthrough, Chas Monk scoring under the posts after good work by Max Turner and Dan Young.
Craig Willis, playing his second game in the unaccustomed position of flanker, converted the score.
The ball failed to go 10 metres from the visitors’ re-start and the hosts won the resultant scrum to set up an attack which saw Dan Young score the first of his three tries.
Another successful conversion from Willis gave the hosts a 14-point cushion and although Stowmarket hit back with a 27th minute penalty from Tom Searles to reduce the deficit it was a blip in proceedings.
On 35 minutes further pressure on the visitors’ defence led to a fumbled ball which was seized upon by French second row Julian Rivals who passed to Glenn Whyatt for try number three.
Willis scored the extras and five minutes later Whyatt added a second from another botched re-start by Stowmarket. He was unable to convert however.
Leading 26-3 at the break, Braintree emerged for the second-half on the front-foot and added more points on 54 minutes, when another defensive fumble enabled Adams to score a try, converted by Willis.
And 11 minutes later Braintree ran in their sixth try through Young, Willis converting.
The visitors’ frustrations boiled over on 73 minutes when Searles was sin-binned for a late tackle on Darren Page.
Young completed his hat-trick with a try, Monk converting.
Chelmsford 15 Saffron Walden 3
CHELMSFORD earned a deserved victory over the only team to have defeated the leaders, North Walsham, this season.
Both sides tried to play with a lot of width, but the foundation on which the win was built came from the back row of Jack Venn, Josh Clarke and Paul Redford.
During a series of early penalty exchanges, the visitors had the opportunity to take the lead but were unsuccessful from their kick. Chelmsford’s Simon Hoult then also missed a 45-metre attempt that fell just short of the posts.
Walden took the lead on seven minutes when Chelmsford were penalised for being off their feet in a ruck.
Twenty minutes in, Chelmsford began putting some pressure on the Walden line and, from a penalty, Hoult drilled the ball deep in to the visitors’ half. From the resultant catch and drive, the ball was held up over the line.
From the scrum, scrum-half Ben Bayley went blind and right-wing Tatenda Gurure was able to score an unconverted try in the corner.
Before the break, Chelmsford went 12-3 up, Hoult throwing out a long pass to full-back Nick Hankin who went over the line to convert a well-worked try. The extras were added by Hoult.
Leading 12-3 at the break, Chelmsford started the second-half brightly but had to withstand some concerted pressure from the visitors.
Chelmsford’s forwards began to dominate the latter stages of the game when they effectively took on the visitors’ pack and played some good driving rugby to keep them at bay.
A further Hoult penalty five minutes from the end effectively sealed the game for the hosts.
LONDON 1 NORTH Bury St Edmunds 18 Diss 9
A MUCH-IMPROVED second half display saw Bury deservedly take the spoils.
With half an hour played, the teams were level at three points each, before Brenton Krammer gave the hosts a 6-3 half-time lead with another penalty.
Chris Beaird levelled proceedings for Diss early in the second half with a penalty.
After Krammer’s next attempt hit a post, Diss took the lead, Beaird scoring his third penalty of the game.
At 9-6 down, Bury’s Kenny Eggars raced round the posts to notch a try, Krammer converting.
And it was Eggars who extended his side’s lead with the final points of the game, Krammer failing to mop up the extras.
EASTERN COUNTIES 1 Mersea Island 18 Woodbridge Warriors 3
WOODBRIDGE absorbed some energetic challenges in early skirmishes and clearly intended to play the game in Mersea’s half, given they had the slope and wind with them.
Mersea mauled from line-outs and No 8, Brendan Cooke, rampaged from the back of the scrum passing to Mathew Rose who took the ball to the Warriors’ 22.
This forced Josh Kimber to clear from stolen ball but Mersea’s full back, Jordan Day, just ran it back as the tackle count rose.
Woodbridge had the edge on territory and their scrum was working very well which allowed Kimber to take three points on 20 minutes.
Kimber missed another shot at goal and all too often the Warriors attack ran out of numbers or fumbled a slippery ball.
As the half ended, Mersea built a couple of good attacks although Jon Williams failed to take three points.
Mersea restarted with a spirited attack on the right and recycled quickly out left for Ed Holland to score wide.
The Woodbridge pack responded by repeatedly shoving hard but failed to take possession, Williams distributing well and the front row Cawtheray brothers receiving some serious rucking from Jez Hannon, Dan Bond and Ben Cope.
Chasing hard, Mersea made Josh Kimber, now at full-back, run from deep and won a scrum from which Holland scored again.
Woodbridge continued to try and kick for advantage but found all too often the ball returning faster and more threatening than the first half.
The pressure yielded a Mersea penalty for Williams and, despite a deep attack led by Jono Cooke, the home team took their breaks more efficiently, Paul Le Marquand at 12 especially.
They were rewarded with a try for the hard-working Williams on the whistle for a patient Mersea victory.
EASTERN COUNTIES 2 Felixstowe 22 Mistley 25
MISTLEY were away to Felixstowe who had only won one game out of six in first half of season.
The game started at a quick pace and Mistley were awarded a penalty which Ed Barrie converted.
There then followed an excellent run by Mike Stephens allowing Sam Butcher to increase the lead to 10-0.
Felixstowe responded well by scoring but consistent pressure from the Mistley scrum and fast three-quarter work allowed Stephen Betts to bring the score to 15-5.
Olly King, in his first season as a centre with Mistley, scored duly converted by Ed Barrie
With stern talking by the Felixstowe coach, the hosts came out with renewed vigour and scored three tries in succession.
Both Tom Rowe and Tom West went off the pitch with injuries and, with a weakened and exhausted side, Mistley were on the back foot.
However with Mistley on a rare excursion to the Felixstowe half, they were awarded a penalty which Barrie failed to convert.
In the last minute, Mike Stephens kicked a drop goal out of nowhere to give Mistley a three-point lead.
Despite the drop goal being hotly-disputed by the Felixstowe coach, Mistley secured a win.
ESSEX LEAGUE 2 Brightlingsea 17 Writtle Wanderers 31
WHATEVER the scoreline suggests this was an encouraging performance by this young, inexperienced Brightlingsea side
Brightlingsea made a sluggish start, losing a scrum against the head, allowing Writtle to run through the centre to score.
The home forwards then started to exert some control and they were unfortunate to concede a second try from an interception on half way.
The pack continued to battle and a series of tight drives took them within scoring range for scrum half Andrew Oliver to cross with a classic “quarterback sneak.”
Owen Palmer added the conversion. The Brightlingsea pack continued to dominate but Writtle had the last word of the half adding a penalty to go in 17-7 at the break.
Brightlingsea started the second half with their tails up. Again it was the pack that drove them into scoring range before Karim Touzni powered over from close-range.
Moments later Brightlingsea were level through a try from outside centre Deric Stricland but the game now turned on two pieces of bad luck. First, Touzni was forced to leave the field with a dislocated finger.
The loss of their inspirational skipper deflated Brightlingsea and when lock Paul Bovingdon was sin-binned for a high tackle the initiative was firmly with Writtle and they ran in two more converted tries.
George Stott hit his jumpers consistently and Owen Palmer continues to impress at stand-off.