Rugby round-up: Colchester in the play-offs, Stowmarket win Suffolk derby and Bury Foxes are promoted
- Credit: Archant
In the final rugby round-up of the season, Colchester secure a spot in the play-off game, Stowmarket beat Southwold in the Suffolk derby, Braintree win 109-7 and the Bury Foxes clinch promotion.
National League Two South
BURY ST EDMUNDS were beaten 35-23 at play-off contenders Canterbury.
An early Ben Leng penalty gave them an advantage, but Charlie Grimes put Canterbury ahead with a try, only for Levi Roper to cross and put Bury back ahead 8-7.
It continued to see-saw until the break, which arrived with Canterbury up 14-13, Mark Kohler adding another try for Bury.
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The Suffolk side went back ahead through a Jaid Wiltshire interception try to make it 20-14, but then the wheels fell off a little bit and Canterbury were soon 28-20 to the good.
Another Leng penalty got it back to 28-23, but that was as close as Bury could get. Bury host London Irish Wild Geese this weekend.
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London One North
COLCHESTER beat Fullerians 10-5 in a war of attrition at a dank Mill Road ground.
Man of the match Brock Price and Brett Cutbush scored the tries, as the Essex side secured second place in the table and a spot in the play-offs, against a side from London One South – their possible opponents are Camberley, Sevenoaks, Brighton and Medway.
Meanwhile, SUDBURY secured their spot in the league for next season with a 35-26 win over Old Priorians. Jake Sumner, Harry Maile, Jack Dachtler, Jonny Taylor, Charles Jackson and Shaun Smith scored the tries for the West Suffolk side, who will be delighted to have another season to play for in the top regional league.
London Two North East
STOWMARKET saved their best performance until last game of the season, defeating rivals SOUTHWOLD 33-0.
Southwold started the stronger with the Stowmarket defence just holding out. But having weathered the storm Stowmarket stole a lineout and handled the ball wide for Dan Garrard to score a try which he also converted.
Stowmarket then continued to exert pressure but were unable to score before half-time, and went in leading 7-0.
Stow were quickly into their stride at the start of the second half and Gavin Rudland scored after several forward drives. As Stowmarket began to dominate there were tries for Joe Fifield and man of the match Bob Burch, all of which were converted by Garrard.
As the game drew to a close Joe Lancaster went over for the fifth try after excellent handing by the backs.
Stow duly finished an excellent season third after Romford retained second place, with a win over Saffron Walden, and will now play for promotion.
London Three Eastern Counties
WOODBRIDGE were beaten 17-7 at home by Holt.
Play went to and fro but in the last play of the half Holt winger Thomas Goose finally drove over to snatch the lead.
Woodbridge took a mere ten minutes to fightback after the break when the hard-driving No 8 Aldis Salavejs ended a move started by wing Reece Monk and veteran Jono Cooke to equalise.
The spectators were treated to more evenly balanced play as the result was held in the balance until, sensing a shock result, Holt changed tack and Oliver Jaggard kicked a penalty to retake the lead.
The last five minutes of the game replicated the end of the first half, the Holt pack shoved over and scored on the last play and reminded everyone why they have been near the top of the table and will probably be promoted.
London Three Essex
Rampant BRAINTREE rounded off the season in style with a devastating 17-try blitz of bottom side Millwall in a 109-7 win which saw them secure third place in London 3 Essex.
Tree stacked up a 52-0 interval lead courtesy of four tries from Cameron Kerr, two from Dan Olley and further scores from Joe Meade and Jamie Price, with Josh Wadforth kicking six conversions.
It was similarly one-way traffic after the break, with Elliott Swallow grabbing a hat-trick of tries, Keelan Joslin and Wadforth a brace each and scores for Meade and Glen Whyatt.
Wadforth added a further five conversions with Olley kicking one to give him a break, as Millwall toiled stoically against the tide of play to score a solitary converted try of their own.
Local rivals CHELMSFORD were also in destructive mood, crushing Maldon 89-7 and running in 13 tries, 12 of which were converted by Jordan Ayling.
The BURY FOXES secured promotion with a 15-12 win in their play-off clash with Sutton Coldfield. Lucy Kerr grabbed a brace of tries for the Foxes, while Steph Hanratty ran in the match-winner.