Essex edition round-up: Braintree win at Old Streetonians
Reports from the weekend’s rugby games
London 2 North
Old Streetonians 17
PLAYING with the wind at their backs in the first half, Braintree made the most of the conditions and went ahead after just two minutes, fly-half Chas Monk racing through to score a try, converted by flanker Craig Willis.
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Eight minutes later, second-row Dan Johnson crashed over from short-range following a line-out to extend the visitors’ advantage.
A superb 35-metre penalty from Willis on 16 minutes made it 15-0 before winger Dan Young scored the first of a hat-trick of tries following a powerful run.
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This time, Willis was unable to convert but he made amends by kicking the extra points on the half-hour after winger Glen Whyatt latched onto a deft chip by Monk to score the bonus-point try.
Just a minute before the break, the visitors extended their lead to 34-0 with their fifth try of the afternoon.
A penalty to touch set up a catch and drive line-out move which saw Monk feed the ball to inside centre Dane Crush who crashed over to score a try which was ably despatched by that man Willis.
After the break it was Old Streetonians’ turn to take advantage of the wind and they hit back with a close-range try on 50 minutes.
However, five minutes later, Braintree scored again, Crush taking an inside pass to notch his second try.
Willis kicked the conversion to extend the lead to 41-5 but Streets weren’t finished just yet and further tries in the 63rd and 67th minutes pegged the score back to 41-17.
On 70 minutes, Braintree’s Monk fielded a defensive clearance to feed the ball to Young who threw a dummy before crashing over for his second to make the score 46-17.
Four minutes later number eight John Smillie’s superb run ended with a pass to Johnson who slipped the ball to Young for the winger to complete his hat-trick.
And with three minutes to go a brilliant pass from scrum-half Dave Martindale found Monk who sprinted 50 metres to score try number nine, Willis converting.
EASTERN COUNTIES ONE Harwich & Dovercourt 15 West Norfolk 12
WITH the fierce wind behind them it took only five minutes before Harwich had some points on the board when Sam Male notched up yet another penalty.
After 20 minutes, a move involving all the back line allowed Nick Faliveno to finish a good move on the opposite wing. Male converted the try and Harwich were 10-0 up.
West Norfolk didn’t rest and came back a bit later with their own forward’s try scored in the corner.
At 10-5 up at half-time, Harwich knew that they were still in a game with a lot of work to do.
Harwich got their reward after several phases from the Harwich pack the ball was fed out to Jack Hale, who fixed the last defender assisting substitute Keir Balcker, who finished superbly in the corner. The conversion was missed and Harwich were 15-5 up.
West Norfolk rallied at the end and scored their own converted try to bring the scores back to 15-12.
EASTERN COUNTIES 2 Haverhill 28 Mistley 12
HAVERHILL were 5-0 up thanks to winger Martin Hughes’ effort inside the first minute.
On 22 minutes, a great move saw Haverhill’s Brad Gibson cross the line in the corner, but he was adjudged to have gone out of the field of play and a five-metre line ensued.
Haverhill camped on the Mistley line and finally, on 32 minutes, a quick pass from Gavin Hope from the maul saw George Foley gather, jink inside two defenders and place the ball over the line for the second try. Jake Jeffs’ conversion was short.
With a penalty in front of the posts on the stroke of half-time, Hughes made the score 13-0 on the turn.
On 43 minutes, a Mistley penalty was quickly-taken and Haverhill watched as the player ran 20 metres to score in the corner for 13-5.
Being in front of a probing Chancy Mulama kick saw Haverhill penalised and backchat caused the infringement to be bought 10 metres up the park. Mistley went for the posts but the kick was wide.
Mistley attacked Haverhill and camped on their line for a number of phases, but Haverhill finally cleared to 40 metres and the pressure was released.
A Lansdowne drive on 60 minutes saw the player make 40 metres from the half-way line. The resultant ruck was quickly recycled and succession of passes between Jeffs, Lester and Adam Hunt finally saw Jeffs over the line for 18-5, the Mulama kick went just wide.
Another move between Flannery and Harris led to a penalty for Haverhill and Jeffs slotted the ball over for 21-5.
A storming Nash on the wing intercepted the ball for Haverhill, robbing the Mistley defender, and Hunt was released for a try under the posts, Jeffs converting.
On the final play, Haverhill were penalised for a high tackle five metres out. The resulting tap-penalty was passed to the huge second-row Mistley player who just managed to clear the line for a converted try and 28-12 at the whistle.
LONDON & SE INTERMEDIATE CUP QUARTER-FINAL Chelmsford 8 Portsmouth 16
THE early exchanges were even, but it was not until 10 minutes into the game that Chelmsford, playing up the slope, took the lead with a well-taken penalty from fly half Simon Hoult.
Portsmouth then drew level when Chelmsford were penalised for hands in the ruck. The visitors then took the lead when the home side were penalised for not rolling away.
Portsmouth had a chance to increase their lead eight minutes from time, but their kick fell short of the posts. Five minutes from time they scored what they thought was a perfectly good try in the left-hand corner, only to be brought back by the referee for a forward pass.
They were then thwarted in the right hand corner when Hoult got a hand to the ball and then, despite seeing Portsmouth being held up over the line, Chelmsford managed to hold on to a half time deficit of 6-3.
The second half didn’t get off well for Chelmsford when Portsmouth scored a converted try. Following a penalty, Portsmouth won the line-out and, from a rolling maul, peeled off to score a try and conversion.
From Chelmsford’s point of view they then began to find themselves on the wrong side of the referee’s penalty count, and some frustration crept in from the home side, particularly after Hoult had been on the wrong end of several hard tackles.
Unfortunately for the home side the breakdown area, where most of the infringements had taken place, was not well controlled and Chelmsford did suffer, with a number of the Portsmouth players coming into the side of rucks and going off their feet and coming round off side.
Chelmsford grabbed a lifeline when flanker Josh Clarke was on hand to finish off a good move by scoring in the left hand corner.
This reduced the deficit to 13-8 and brought Chelmsford back into the game, but unfortunately for them they couldn’t breach the visitors’ defence.
Hoult then took one too many hard tackles and was subsequently carried off on a stretcher suffering from concussion.
With the last kick of the game, Portsmouth increased their lead from a penalty kick straight in front of the posts.