Colchester are defeated by Tonbridge Juddians

Damo Brambley

Damo Brambley - Credit: Archant

Colchester were up against a strong Tonbridge side eight places above them in the league and the difference showed in the first half with the visitors amassing 22 unanswered points.

However a second half recovery denied the visitors a bonus point fourth try with Colchester getting some consolation from scoring more than their opponents.

Colchester had a terrible start when they failed to catch the kick-off and Tonbridge’s centre, Tom Nicoll, scooted over for a converted try in the first minute.

Within ten minutes he added a second after the visitors won a lineout and moved the ball quickly along their backs.

Because of the strong cross wind there were many lineouts and hooker Alfie Walsh linked well with the Pickett brothers to secure the Blacks’ ball. Despite the best efforts of half backs Brett Cutbush and David Higgins to get their backs going forward, well-organised defence often stopped any advance by the back five.

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Indeed, after 20 minutes of the opponents battling for position, Colchester’s centre Damien Brambley’s speculative kick was charged down leading to a scrum on halfway which the visitors won.

The ball was moved rapidly to the right for wing Lee Campion to score, putting Tonbridge 19 points in the lead. Just before the interval Cooper added a penalty to this score.

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Being 22 points down at half-time would have discouraged most teams but from the restart Colchester played with more shape and determination aided by the fresh legs of replacements Danny Whiteman, Ed Parry and Jerone Awesu, who joined the fray in that order. Following a handling mistake by Tonbridge, right wing Owen Herbert stole a loose ball and showed great pace to run from his half right into Tonbridge territory before passing to Jaid Wiltshere who scored a great try, converted by James Crozier putting Colchester on the scoreboard. Cooper added a penalty for Tonbridge and that’s how it finished.

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