Chingford 23 v 28 Brentwood (London & South East Premier Division) 8th September 2018
By ALAN C. HUDSON
Brentwood hold off strong Chingford second half comeback to take the points
Brentwood travelled to Chingford on Saturday to take on the 2nd team London 1 North to be promoted to Level 5 last season. The hosts’ last competitive home match was their hard earned playoff win against Medway last season and they were looking for their first win of the season following a close away loss to Guildford last week. Their players, staff and followers went away disappointed as Brentwood took control of the match with a powerful first half performance and a gutsy, backs-to-the-wall display in the second.
Chingford had the better of the early exchanges and took a deserved 7-0 lead on 5 minutes following a good break from one of their forwards. Brentwood came storming back and after Josh Stannard took a ball at pace and cut the home defence open Ed Hornby carried well into the hosts’ 22. The forwards took up the play and after Joe Mcmillan went close to the line, Bradley Burr cut inside and fed George Bassenger for the 2nd row to power over. Burr added the extras and Brentwood were level and they extended that lead when Burr added 2 penalties soon later. Brentwood lost the impressive Josh Stannard to a knee injury midway through the half which saw a reshuffle of the backs, Tom Simpson moving to centre and Liam Batty coming on at fullback. Chingford never really threatened for the rest of the half but kept the visitors at bay until a good break from Adam Thomas had the defence scrambling, again the forwards made good ground and gave Burr time to pick out Chay Pollinger on the far touchline with a perfect crossfield kick. The young winger took the ball high above his opposite number at full pace and trotted under the posts for a memorable score. It was a wonderful try and it looked to have deflated the home side as they struggled to get out of their half for the remaining minutes, Burr extended the lead on halftime with a well struck 40 metre penalty.
H/T Chingford 7 v 23 Brentwood
As fractured and ponderous Chingford were in the first half, the complete opposite was true from the whistle for the second. They showed great intensity and skill to put Brentwood under constant pressure but fantastic defense from Adam Thomas, Ben Amato and Ed Hornby in particular kept them to just 3 successful penalties which narrowed Brentwood’s lead to 16-23. Following these Brentwood got straight back in the game and spent the next 5 minutes striving for the next score and they forced a kickable penalty but Burr missed the drop kick attempt as the kicking tee was still in the changing rooms. It still couldn’t be found 5 minutes later after another perfectly executed backs move put Ed Hornby into space and he finished well. Those missed 5 points could have been costly as Chingford’s forwards made good ground from the kickoff and their scrumhalf managed to score under the posts, the conversion put Chingford just 5 points behind and looking to snatch an unlikely win. Brentwood held out well though and forced a penalty soon after, Burr kicked the ball over the clubhouse to mark another hard fought win for Brentwood over their rivals.
F/T Chingford 23 v 28 Brentwood
Brentwood start the season with 2 wins and Chingford 2 losses. In truth the score flattered Chingford as, apart from a dominant 3rd quarter, they were outplayed for the other 3 quarters but the missed 5 points gifted them a bonus point. Brentwood host Dorking at King Georges next week 15th September, 3pm kickoff.
Brentwood Team: McMillan, Payne, Visser, Bassenger, Killington, Whaley, Aldous, Amato, White, Burr, Pollinger, Thomas, Stannard, Hornby, Simpson Subs: Bevans-Royston, Vogel, Batty