Braintree slip to another defeat

London 1 North - Braintree 10 Eton Manor 29

BRAINTREE slumped to yet another defeat at the hands of an in-form Eton Manor side who had won five of their last six games.

The visitors looked imperious in attack and the game was all but over as a contest after they racked up four tries without reply before half-time.

But the injury-ravaged black and ambers mounted a spirited fight back which saw them win the second half and put a much more respectable gloss on the score line.

The hosts were always going to face an uphill battle due to the absence of long-term injury victims Mark Loftus, Chas Monk and Craig Willis and the unavailability of Jamie Prince and Dean Cadby.

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And the writing looked to be on the wall when Manor posted points straight from the kick-off, full-back Huw Levis rounding off an impressive backs move to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Things went from bad to worse on six minutes when further non-existent tackling allowed a quick exchange of passes which saw inside centre Danny Jillins score an unopposed second try.

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Winger Reece Reed kicked the conversion to put the north-east London side 12-0 in front and Tree looked to be visibly wilting in the bright spring sunshine.

Try number three arrived on 20 minutes courtesy of Manor flanker Dave Hanna, Reid converting again to stretch his side’s lead to 19-0.

And three minutes later it was pretty much game over when outside-centre Callum McKie crossed the line for an unconverted but bonus point-clinching fourth try to make it 24-0 to the visitors.

Despite shipping a fifth try to Manor hooker and skipper Tryson Goodchild on 45 minutes which extended their opponents lead to 29-0, the black and ambers were a different side after the break.

And their efforts bore fruit on 58 minutes when hooker Jack Sigley made good ground and fed the ball to Daryl Coote.

Coote in turn fed the ball to scrum-half Dave Martindale who was able to wriggle over the line to score an unconverted try in the corner and narrow the deficit to 29-5.

Tree narrowed the gap even more in the closing stages of the game courtesy of a try from Joe Young, who crossed the line following good work by veteran Neil Fitzearle.

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