Colchester earn vital victory in quest for promotion

London 1 North: Ruislip 20 Colchester 44

COLCHESTER secured a vital victory in their quest for promotion from London 1 North, defeating Ruislip in a close game.

The victory was made all the more sweeter when they learned that their closest rivals, Letchworth, had lost and were six points behind with just two games to play.

Playing up the slope in the first period, the visitors struggled to stamp their authority on the game but did work well in the scrums and lineouts.

Colchester fly half Damien Brambley opened the scoring with a penalty, after Ruislip were penalised for offside, and shortly after, Carl Jeffs scored a fine try, following intelligent play by centre Chris Withers and full back James Crozier.

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From the restart, Colchester were hit with a sucker punch as Nick Flexman’s kick was well fielded by Ruislip fullback Antonio Trofa, who ran the length of the field to score an unconverted try.

Colchester hit back with Crozier scoring a converted try under the posts but the visitors were unable to extend their lead prior to the break, despite the best efforts of man-of-the-match Elliott Castle, Lee Soper and Gareth Jones.

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The second half started badly for Colchester, the team knocking-on at the kick-off, allowing Ruislip’s Dowsett, to score a try.

However, this seemed to galvanise Colchester and they began pressurising the hosts with several attacks, one of which resulted in a try for Dan Whiteman, who pounced on a loose ball from a Ruislip scrum. Brambley converted and the visitors were starting to pull clear at 10-22.

Shortly after this, Whiteman’s fellow flanker, Jeffs, was yellow-carded for a spear tackle and was replaced, after ten minutes, by Ollie Pickett.

Another penalty was converted by the reliable boot of Brambley before Ruislip replied with a second unconverted try by Dowsett.

Colchester then added two further tries, Calum Irvine finishing off a good move involving the front row of skipper James Mitchell, Matt Adamson and Joe McMillan, and then winger Nick Flexman scoring a try.

Ruislip counter-attacked up the slope and slick handling got the ball to left wing Dan Porter who scored an unconverted try in the corner.

With the clock running down Colchester claimed the last score, Jon Crisp claiming an unconverted try in the corner.

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