Brentwood 17 v 18 Hertford (London & South East Premier Division) 29th September 2018
By ALAN C. HUDSON
Brentwood fail to hold on to lead for second week running
Brentwood welcomed Herford on Saturday with a perfect pitch, perfect weather and looking to get back on the winning trail after a couple of close games. It was to be a perfect example of a game of two halves and another reminder that failure to capitalise on scoring chances will be punished by teams at this level. Playing down the slope in the first half and missing opportunities to take a massive lead into halftime cost them dear as Hertford put together a strong second half performance to steal the win with a late penalty.
Brentwood started to game playing some scintillating rugby that brought two converted tries and the chance of at least one more but lack of precision kept the score down to 14-0 after 15 minutes. The first from a nice break from Adam Thomas which had the away team scrambling to keep him out, this open up space out wide and Bradley Burr took full advantage with a long miss pass that picked out Liam Batty who trotted over on 4 minutes, Three minutes later it was Thomas again who was the creator when he intercepted a pass and headed for the try line, he was caught 5 metres out but a lovely offload to the supporting Henry Galligan put him clear to score under the posts, both tries converted by Burr and Brentwood were looking good. Hertford dragged themselves into the game with some fine rugby of their own but outstanding defence kept them out after 10 minutes of constant pressure on the Brentwood line. Again Brentwood took a foothold in the game and went twice went close but, as in previous weeks, the final pass or decision lacked the quality needed. Brentwood really should have had a much bigger lead at halftime, as much as Hertford had put pressure on Brentwood’s line, they had no clear cut chances.
Halftime: Brentwood 14-0 Hertford
Brentwood were to pay the price for that lack of killer instinct as Hertford started the second half strongly. Brentwood defended brilliantly again but could not make an impact up the slope when they did steal ball or force mistakes. Hertford forced a penalty on 60 minutes that was converted but Burr replied 2 minutes later with a long range penalty of his own. 15 minutes to go and 14 points up Brentwood felt that they had repelled Hertford’s best attempts but a yellow card for the influential Matt Whaley weakened the pack and Hertford punished them with some hard, straight running that put Brentwood on the back foot. They scored two quickfire tries, one converted, through their forwards and brought themselves within 2 points with 5 minutes to go. Another infringement 40 metres out gave the visiting fly-half the chance to take the lead and he dissected the posts with a superb strike. Even then, Brentwood had chances to steal the game as first Tijde Visser forced a penalty that gave them a lineout 20 metres out but they lost the ball and the chance was gone, 2 minutes later Josh Stannard broke the line and took play deep into Hertford’s half but a knock-on brought the game to an end.
An entertaining game that both teams contributed to but Brentwood felt they could have won this one, a familiar feeling this season. It shows how competitive they can be this season but must learn to really capitalise when they are dominant in a game and not give their opposition the chance to get back into a game.
Team: Visser, McMillan, Bevans-Royston, Killington, Whaley, Amato, Aldous, Patterson, White, Burr, Galligan, Thomas, Stannard, Batty, Simpson Subs: Richards, Vogel, Lucas-Roast