COLFEIANS…36 (London One North)
BRAINTREE fell to their fifth defeat of the season in a pulsating end
to end encounter at Robbs Wood on Saturday.
But the Black and Ambers managed to grab two bonus points which
enabled them to climb to third from bottom following a game which they
might easily have won.
A raft of injuries led to Tree fielding no fewer than four 18-year-
olds and they were always going to find it hard going in their first
ever meeting with the south east Londoners.
was already without Glen Whyatt
, Chas Monk and Mark Loftus
due to knocks picked up in the defeat at Chingford a week earlier.
And his problems were compounded when influential number eight Dean
Cadby was forced to withdraw from the side due to illness on the
morning of the game.
But Tree’s stand-ins performed admirably in the face of adversity and
almost pulled off an unlikely win with a plucky attacking display that
saw them score five tries.
That was despite a poor start which saw them 14-0 down by the end of
the quarter as Lee-based Colfeians put them under huge early pressure.
The game was only three minutes old when flanker Charlie Cloy scored
from the visitors’ first attack, fly-half Tom Bates converting for a 7-
They doubled their advantage on 19 minutes when Tree lost a line-out
deep in their territory and a catch and drive move saw fellow flanker
Sam Wallis go over for a score that was again converted by Bates.
That stung Tree into action and they hit back on 22 minutes when
flanker Daryl Coote fielded a kick and triggered a move which involved
Tom Green and Wes Apps
It ended with Apps slipping the ball to prop Jamie Prince who scored
an unconverted try in the corner to cut the deficit to 14-5.
Three minutes later the hosts were right back in it when loose play
from Colfeians in the scrum saw the ball squirt out to Tree scrum-half
He picked up and fed the ball to Craig Willis
who passed inside to
Green enabling the centre to crash over for a score that was converted
by Willis for 12-14.
Things were looking good from the home fans point of view when Tree
stormed into the lead on 35 minutes courtesy of a close range try from
after great forward work by the pack.
Willis kicked the conversion to put the hosts 19-14 ahead but no
sooner had the Robbs Wood faithful toasted the score than Colfeians
levelled thanks to an unconverted try from wing Josh Doughty.
And they were left scratching their heads when the visitors’ number
eight Alan Bateson grabbed a bonus point clinching fourth try from a
catch and drive move triggered by a kick to touch to seal a 24-19
After the break things didn’t get any easier for Tree when Coote was
forced to leave the field due to injury on 44 minutes to be replaced by
It started to look bleak on 55 minutes when number eight Bateson
rampaged over for the fifth try to put his side 29-19 in front.
And the portents looked even gloomier on the hour when Apps was yellow
carded following a dust-up with an opposing player.
With Tree down to 14 men flanker Wallis added his second and
Colfeians’ sixth try on 66 minutes, outside centre Rob Bennett kicking
his side 36-19 in front with the conversion.
But the Black and Ambers are nothing but determined this season and
they almost snatched victory from the jaws of a defeat with a stirring
late fight back.
A quick tap and go penalty by Page enabled Adams to score a superb 35-
metre individual try on 75 minutes, Willis converting to narrow the gap
Page was forced off the field with injury three minutes from the end
of normal time, but despite being down to 14 men having used all their
replacements Tree weren’t done.
Deep into injury time flanker Tom Carslake
popped up on the right wing
to score an unconverted try in the corner to leave Colfeians sweating
as the seconds ticked away.
BRUFC Chairman of Selectors, Jeff Lewis, said: “This was a game I
thought we could have won but having got our noses in front we couldn’t
hang on to our lead.
“It was immensely frustrating that we scored five tries and still
ended up on the losing side and we have to start winning our home
games, especially against the sides in the bottom half of the table.
“Fortunately we earned a bonus point for scoring a fourth try and
another one for finishing within seven points of our opponents so our
efforts weren’t entirely in vain.”
Things don’t get any easier for Tree next week when they make the
short trip down to east London to face old adversaries Eton Manor at
BRUFC: Stanhope, J Young, Green, Willis, T Ashford (N Ashford 75),
Adams, Page, Baker (Sigley 56), Avitable, Prince, Apps, Johnson, Coote
(McClements 44), T Carslake, Smillie.