Brentwood1st XV 23 Eton Manor RFC 1st XV 18
Brentwood dig deep for hard fought win
Brentwood 23 Eton Manor 18
The large crowd at King George’s last Saturday, witnessed a thoroughly entertaining game, extremely well refereed by Mr Stronge. As a spectacle the game was a credit to both sides, full of skill entertainment and drama, as the home side just about deserved their victory as they edged in front in the final few minutes. Excellent work by club groundsman Steve Gildersleeves, meant that the game went ahead, this had been very doubtful at 8 AM in the morning
This win leaves Brentwood in 2nd place in the London 1 North table, 11 points behind Tring and 4 points clear of Chingford in 3rd place. If the team continues to play at the standard set last Saturday then a shot at promotion to National league 3, via the play offs remains a real possibility.
Director Of Rugby Steve Killington was able to name one of his strongest sides of the season, which welcomed back influential 2nd row forward Rob Hobbs from suspension, and Jed Roman to the bench after a long injury layoff. A young and talented team, with no place available for veterans Tom King and James Metcalfe who have both played with much distinction over the years
Captain Woodcock won the toss and elected to play up the slope in the first half, and it was under leaden skies that the game commenced. Eton Manor put the home side under pressure to begin with but some solid tackling from all the Brentwood lads kept the visitors at bay and slowly but surely Brentwood began to dominate. By the 27th minute Brentwood were ahead by 15 -3, after Henry Bird slotting over a penalty kick, and Billy Aldous scored , following the Eton Manor defence fumbling a searching kick from the boot of Charlie Chambers and pressure from James Vogel. The exuberant Tom Simpson, also scored a wonderfully individualistic try having fielded a wayward kick, and side stepping his way through the away defence, to touch down under the post, and giving Bird the simplest of conversions. All Eton Manor had to show for their endeavours at this stage was a successful penalty kick.
The last 13 minutes of the half belonged to Eton Manor, as they put the home side under intense pressure, stout defending kept them at bay, but it seemed only a matter of time before they scored, and with half time approaching they duly did, when their scrum half dived over in the corner, luckily the conversion was missed . Just before the half time whistle Eton Manor scored a penalty, and at the break the score stood at 18 – 11
With their slope in their favour logic would dictate that Brentwood would hold the advantage, but as so often happens at King George’s, it was the team playing up the slope who had the advantage in the opening period in the 2nd half, and after 50 minutes Eton Manor deservedly drew level when they scored a good try, which was converted, score 18 – 18.
The game was now on a knife edge, but Brentwood gained territorial advantage over the last 10 minutes, after a period of play in which both sides threw everything they had at each other, no quarter was given, or asked for, as every player on the pitch played their hearts out.
Brentwood were unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions, particularly when Louis Payne, who had been making many excellent runs all afternoon, knocked on with the line begging, but with time running out a moments indecision by Eton Manor, was pounced on by the charismatic Billy Aldous, who raced over the try line to the joy of his teammates and home supporters, giving Brentwood a win by 23 – 18
Next Saturday sees Brentwood travelling to Letchworth, never their happiest of hunting grounds, but following this display the squad will travel in confident mood