Colchester defeat Bracknell 24-21 in National 3
- Credit: Archant
Colchester were up against a big Bracknell side at Mill Road on Saturday but came out winners, 24-21, in a tight contest, to secure their second victory of the season.
Both sides scored three tries but fly-half David Higgins’ three successful penalty kicks secured a winning margin for Colchester.
Two new additions to the team made an impact with Harrison Pickett, impressive at No. 8, joining his brothers Liam and Ollie in the forwards.
Debutant Jaid Wiltshire at full-back, meanwhile, claimed a brace of tries.
Colchester, who suffered an 18-16 defeat at Wimbledon last weekend, kicked off against the wind and Bracknell gathered and came back with great intensity.
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They soon earned a scrum, 10 metres out, won it and moved the ball right for their No.8 to score a converted try in the corner.
Not to be outdone Colchester soon earned themselves a 10-metre scrum near the visitors’ try line, and then a penalty for a Bracknell infringement. Higgins converted.
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A kicking game ensued with Damien Brambley, to the fore for Colchester, often returning high kicks from Bracknell’s full-back.
The impasse was broken 10 minutes later when the visitors’ fly half broke through Colchester’s defence to score under the posts, a good try that he converted.
Higgins replied soon after with a penalty leaving Colchester trailing 14-6 at the interval.
Playing with the wind in the second half enabled Higgins to kick some long range balls and keep the visitors pinned back in their own half.
Following one such kick to touch, Colchester’s player-coach took a lineout catch and the ball was moved to prop James Mitchell who drove forward.
He fed Brambley who raced ahead, offloading to flanker Danny Whiteman, in support, who scored a fine try to the left of the posts.
Shortly after, another successful Higgins penalty levelled the scores at 14-14 and gave Colchester the belief that they could win this close encounter.
They began to dominate the scrums and lineouts with hooker Charlie Thorogood working tirelessly to secure the ball, aided by the fresh legs of replacements Ollie White and Jerone Awesu.
Following a successful take at a halfway lineout, scrum-half Brett Cutbush threw a long pass to No. 8 Pickett who fed Wiltshire who then raced over for his first try. putting Colchester in the lead at 19-14.
Bracknell regained the lead 19-21 when their right-wing Ben Yates scored a converted try.
The Colchester crowd went quiet, possibly dreading a repeat of the close defeats suffered recently by the hosts, but it wasn’t to be.
From a pile-up on the halfway line Whiteman broke right, passed to Wiltshire, who put in a clever grubber kick between his opponents and raced through to touch down in the corner, a fine unconverted try putting the hosts back in the lead at 24-21.
Colchester then rode out the final ten minutes without conceding a score, showing that they are learning how to finish a game off successfully.