Colchester lose in tough conditions at Westcombe Park

Brett Cutbush and Ed Parry tackle a Westcombe attacker

Brett Cutbush and Ed Parry tackle a Westcombe attacker - Credit: Archant

On a wet and windy day in Kent, visitors Colchester struggled against third-placed Westcombe Park and, despite having an even share of the territory during the game, were unable to convert their possession into points, losing 18-3.

Their rearranged line up due to the loss of captain Liam Pickett and fly half David Higgins, both having picked up injuries in the previous Saturday’s game, took some time to gel, by which time the hosts had converted two penalties in the first 10 minutes.

Colchester then rallied and camped down the home side’s end for about 20 minutes but, try as they might, were unable to cross the line.

Two penalty attempts by Tom Miller were missed and then, to add to the visitors’ frustration, prop Jerone Awesu was yellow-carded for blocking an opponent.

Westcombe Park seized their one-man advantage and drove out of defence. They made their way up field through the boot of fly half James Cameron and from the ensuing lineout drove over the try line for a converted try giving them a 13-point lead at the interval.

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Using substitutes Joe McMillan, Ollie White and Joe Flexman boosted Colchester in the second half and, following a charge forward by prop James Mitchell, lock Robert Heath and stand-in captain Danny Whiteman, the home defence committed an infringement and Colchester were awarded a penalty 22 metres out. Despite the swirling wind, wing James Crozier coolly converted putting the visitors on the scoreboard, 13-3 down.

A tenacious battle followed between the two teams with both trying to gain superiority but the killer blow, as far as Colchester were concerned, came when Cameron intercepted a pass between their backs and dribbled the ball forward over the try line, despite the best efforts of the chasing Colchester defence.

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The conversion was missed but this score put the hosts in front by 18 points to three.

The remaining 10 minutes of the game were spoilt by the unedifying spectacle of fighting between the teams on two occasions with both No 8s receiving yellow cards before the referee’s whistle ended the game.

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