Old Brentwood v.s. Billericay - match report
1st team see off Billericay
After a heavy defeat away to the unknown Mersea Island, Old Brentwoods refocused training on defensive spacing, tackling and momentum going forward.
This week was Derby week! Billericay at home. Fortunate to have many new faces in the squad this year, the importance of this win was made clear early in the week with many of the old guard proud of their undefeated record against Billericay.
Old Brentwood’s on paper, displayed a young side with a few regulars missing namely powerful centre/Winger Zack Yeldham and top try scorer Sam ‘Ray’ Wilkins on. A debut was rewarded to young Tim Mason, starting on the wing, Tim has been perfecting his craft for the colts and 2nds team. Special mention to Johnny Janes, Oli Brooks and Adam Grace for bolstering the squad this weekend stepping up from the super 2’s
Old Brentwood’s would be kicking to start the game. Unlike previous games, the first 10 minutes were lively with both teams keen to throw the ball wide to flanks. Early doors OBs were recycling the ball well, #9 Darragh Harnett was getting clean ball out to strong forward runs from Oli Brook and Steve Pearson. After a few phases sucking forwards into the ruck area, Basil Letts demanded quick ball left, Baz fizzed it into the arms of flanker Matt Jones who crashed through a gap in the Billericay defence, trail runner Stuart Smyth was in support, Jones draw in the full back popping the ball to the hooker. Smyth with the winger to beat stepped inside seeing off the winger with a fend scoring to make it 5-0 to the home side.
The next 10 minutes seen a lot of broken play with ground being soft under foot, it was the forwards from both side trucking it up. OB’s was dealing with Billericay’s predictable and repetitive one up runner style rugby well. However, a show and go from Billericay’s #10 seen him break a scrag tackle to score under the posts. Kick was converted [5-7].
Clearly annoyed at the ease in which Billericay scored, OB’s ground their way up the field with a series of good carries from David Embling and Will Mead. This continued forward pressure resulted in Billericay hooker being sent to the bin. Inside Billericay 22 Woodies wanted points but poor decision-making gifted Billericay the ball, which the kicked clear.
James Sullivan gathered the ball and with Rhys in support, gained yards back to their retreating OB’s pack. A surging run from James Lennox required multiple men to bring him down. The ball was recycled quickly, Darragh pull the pass to Baz, who in turn found Jamie Pugh in space. Jamie dummied and stepped his way passed the Billericay defence showing great strength to break tackles to score in the corner. [10-7]
With 10 minutes to go in the 1st half the visitors took a quick tap which James Lennox decided to stop straight away before retreating 10 metres. The referee being consistent sent Lennox to the bin. Nothing came from Billericay number advantage, as Old Brentwood’s defence was strong, once OB’s had the ball they held it well, seeing out the remainder of the half.
Half time score – [10-7]
Changes; OFF - Will Mead and Darragh. ON - Johnny Janes and Adam Grace
The second half started like the first with hard fast carries from forwards, unfortunately due to not releasing on the ground Billericay got multiple penalties one of which the number #9 took quickly kicked and chased to score giving Billericay the lead [10-12]
Scrum to Billericay, new Billericay hooker after previous play being unable to continue due to injury. OB’s hooker Smyth pounced on the ball getting to it before his inexperienced opposite number. Followed up with a strong shunt forward from the tight five, allowed Basil Letts to break blind with support from Oli Brooks inside seen him smash his way over the line to make it 15-12 to the home side.
Down to the last 15mins of the game and Billericay had the ball but were camped on the half way line, Old Brentwood’s line speed and general defence was on point with Nick Clarke leading by example and Adam Grace barking commands to the forwards and backs alike. “ISOLATED!” cried Gracey, Richard Clarke showing up his opposite number and Brother by being first to the ball ripping it free from the Billericay player. Basil Letts wasted no time feeding Gracey. Gracey spotted debutant Tim Mason on the wing and zipped a half a pitch pass to the flank. Tim collect at pace, showed true skill and great feet work to breeze passed what appeared to be a solid defence. Tim scored between the posts and was rewarded with kicking duties for his score. He missed …. clearly still high off his debut try. [20-12]
Billericay had one finally attempt to win the game but deciding to kick putting the score at [20-15] with only minutes to play. OB’s we confident the game was over. A few minutes past no threat came and the game end [20-15]
MOTM – Steve Pearson – Defence, attacking support and work rate
DOTD – James Lennox – Yellow card [Pictured]