Braintree clinch first victory in over a year
London 2 North East: Braintree 26 Old Streetonians 19
THE black and ambers hung on to claim their first victory in more than a year.
The team, forced to make four changes from the side that lost narrowly at Lowestoft & Yarmouth, began shakily, their lack of confidence evident.
However, they got their noses in front and stayed in front throughout against east London opponents, who were unable to snatch victory despite a late rally.
The visitors missed a 13th minute penalty after an early period of domination which saw Braintree constantly on the back foot and Gary Coote’s men took full advantage of the let-off.
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Two minutes later, Matt Pickles ran 30 metres before off-loading to Joss Adams, who crashed over to score.
Adams was unable to convert his own score but made amends when the home side increased their lead on 20 minutes.
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Full-back Kingsley Joslin intercepted a stray pass as the visitors launched an attack and raced 60 metres from inside his own half before scoring under the posts.
Old Streetonians hit back on 24 minutes when scrum-half Chris McAtominey crashed over from a quick tap penalty, with fly-half Alex Glover converting the extras.
After the interval, the game remained tight and the hosts did not increase their lead until ten minutes from time, Joslin scoring his second try under the posts and Adams converting.
Braintree secured the bonus point and a fifth try when a drop kick by fly half Joe Gilder was fumbled by Streetonians’ full-back Anthony Murray and Willis pounced on the ball before feeding it to replacement Ben Ladyman.
Ladyman was brought down but No.8 John Smillie was on his shoulder in support and collected the offload to score.
Adams converted to put Braintree 26-7 in front before Streetonians grabbed two late tries and a losing bonus point.