Colchester beat Chichester in a thriller
- Credit: Archant
National League 3 London & SE Colchester 30 Chichester 24 Colchester ended their home season with a deserved win in this thriller where the result hung in the balance up to the final whistle.
Visitors Chichester needed a win in their battle to avoid relegation but found a determined Colchester team playing for pride to ease the sadness of relegation from National League 3. Colchester’s lighter pack distinguished themselves in scrums and loose play. Danny Whiteman’s tackling and bulldozer charges and try earned him the man of the match award.
The game was played in spring sunshine and Colchester caught Chichester sunbathing as Julian Chamberlain-Carter raced in Colchester’s first try within two minutes of kick-off. Skipper Brett Cutbush almost broke through and was held down after the tackle, James Crozier turning the penalty into three points.
Just as Colchester threatened Chichester’s Jack Maslen intercepted and raced in a try from halfway, Henry Anscombe adding the conversion. Colchester bounced back, forwards making hard yards with a series of pick and go charges before Whiteman jinked past defenders to score a fine virtuoso try under the posts, Crozier converting.
Chichester upped their game, passing out of tackles to setup wing Harry Seaman for a try, Anscombe converting. Seaman finished another team passing move to pat the ball down in the corner for Chichester’s 19-15 halftime lead.
The game restarted with an outbreak of yellow cards; Chichester’s Ross Miller for a high tackle, Colchester lock Ethan Hughes for lineout interference and hooker Charlie Thorogood for offside. Chichester used their player advantage for a pushover try for No.8 Chris Johnson.
Colchester began a spirited fightback. Chichester conceded a penalty stopping Te Albert’s strong midfield break, Crozier converting. Rayment exploded from the back of a lineout and set George Liversidge to race in a try, Crozier’s kick restoring Colchester’s lead before he added his own try by leaping to seize David Higgins’ deft kick to the corner.
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Chichester then threw everything they had left at Colchester, crossing the line but the ball was ruled held up by well positioned referee Michael Woods, and the Essex side held on.