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Colchester Vs v Aldeburgh Match Report

Colchester Vs v Aldeburgh

22nd January – at Colchester

Result: Colchester 43 - Aldeburgh 20

The Magnificent Twelve

Amid the impressive surroundings of Colchester’s acres of pitches and huge, modern clubhouse, twelve intrepid Aldeburgh players turned up to make a match of it. Colchester sportingly provided players to enable a game to take place. The two sides could not have been more different. Colchester could not be said to have a young side but they had retained their toughness and gained wiliness with the years. Aldeburgh, on the other hand, with their heavier forwards unavailable, had a team of fast-paced youngsters. A case of the bludgeon against the rapier.

The pattern was set early on with powerful Colchester runs sucking in Aldeburgh tacklers. Aldeburgh responded with evasive running without quite being able to make it count. The line outs were ineffective – Aldeburgh couldn’t win any and Colchester couldn’t throw straight – which led to plenty of scrums where Colchester were dominant.

Both sides showed their strengths in the first quarter of an hour. Robert Poll made the first of many weaving runs from full back (which earned him the man of the match accolade), linking well with Adam Hateley, at outside centre. The power of Colchester was such that there was no way through, only round. Colchester, however, took the direct route while recycling the ball well until Aldeburgh ran out of tacklers, enabling the right wing to score in the corner after 15 minutes.

The same winger collected a clearance kick with space to get speed up enabling him to burst through several tackles before being brought down by a tackle near the line adjudged to be high. Colchester took the scrum, drove Aldeburgh back, moved the ball out to the outside centre who powered over under the posts for a converted try. 12-0.

After half an hour, Lee Buckle (prop) had to leave the field following a bang on the head. Colchester, to their credit, provided a replacement. More good runs by Robert Poll led to a penalty which was quickly taken. Jon Hunt (normally a No 8, playing second row) ran hard and slipped an inside pass to Ed Robson who went over for Aldeburgh’s first points.

As the game went on, the Colchester No 8 was gaining confidence in his ability to break tackles. His running was a powerful weapon which led to two more tries by his teammates before half time at which the score was 22-5.

Aldeburgh made a good start to the second half with more incisive runs by Robert Poll. A quick penalty by scrum half, Tom Ridgeon, gained 20 metres but still there was no breakthrough. Colchester bounced back, continuing their approach from the end of the first half, resulting in two more tries to take the score to 36-5 after 12 minutes of the second half. It looked as though it could get messy.

Despite everything, the game remained competitive. Aldeburgh turned the ball over, broke out of their own half, recycled the ball to prop, Matt Elias, 30 metres from the line. He sidestepped one defender before beating another for pace on the outside to score a superb try in the corner.

After 23 minutes, Robert Poll set off on yet another brilliant run. It looked as though he was gaining in belief that he could eventually get through. Sadly, in the tackle he hit his head on the ground which meant that, as a precaution, he left the field. Colchester provided yet another replacement who played a solid, defensive game but could not replicate Robert’s attacking ability.

With 15 minutes left, Colchester’s No 8 yet again broke through tackles to enable a try which took the score to 43-10. It would have been easy to give up at that point but not so. An excellent move by Aldeburgh’s backs nearly led to a try. In the loose play after the ensuing line out, flanker Lewis Wardell Bird simply ripped the ball from the opposition and dived over unstoppably.

Aldeburgh kept coming. After more pressure, a quick penalty got the ball to Jon Hunt who was not going to let anyone prevent him from scoring the try which gained a bonus point. Credit to the Aldeburgh team for scoring the last two tries in a match in which they took a physical pounding. They tackled hard and bravely throughout with a special mention to the two flankers, Lewis Wardell Bird and Aonghus (pronounced Angus) Anderson whose tackle count was especially high.

Thanks are due to Club Chairman, Lee Barber, for acting as first aider, water boy, kicking tee provider and touch judge! Well done to Freddie Burgess for standing in as captain after club skipper, Tristan Revell, was unable to play having had his appendix removed on Wednesday.


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