Brentwood 24 v 23 Tring (London & South East Premier Division) 1st December 2018
By ALAN C. HUDSON
Last gasp kick seals the win for Brentwood
On a cold & windy December afternoon Brentwood ended their 4 match losing run against the top 4 teams and gave their season a welcome boost. Still without the influential play-making ability of Adam Thomas but buoyed by the return of captain Ben Amato, Henry Galligan and Anthony Sherwood they turned around a 20 point halftime deficit to win with the last play of the game. November had not been kind to Brentwood and a loss against Tring would have seen them drop into the bottom 3 for the first time this season. It’s a measure of their strength and skill that they continue to push the top teams close and they got their just rewards for a fantastic second half performance culminating in a 26 phase attack that was finished brilliantly by Charlie Wilkinson to set up a game winning conversion as time ran out.
Brentwood struggled in the first half up the slope with a biting wind in their faces, Tring played powerful forward orientated rugby and put constant pressure on the home side’s lineouts. They ran in three tries in a difficult opening 25 minutes and went into halftime with a commanding 20 point advantage. Handling errors and lack of precision in the lineouts had hampered Brentwood’s play and they struggled to create any scoring chances, it was their fantastic defence that had kept them just in touch and with the elements in their favour in the second half hopeful that they could turn the game around.
Half time Brentwood 0 – 20 Tring
Brentwood immediately went on the attack in the second half, forcing an early penalty that Bradley Burr converted to get the home side on the scoreboard, further scoring chances were spurned before a defender deliberately knocked on a Burr pass destined for Ed Hornby that would have seen him go over for an easy try. A penalty try and yellow card for the opposition player later and Brentwood were now within ten points and with all the momentum in the game. Every Tring attack was repelled by a strong, organised defence and Louis Payne, Anthony Sherwood and Billy Aldous were dominant at the breakdown. Massive carries from Amato, Ben Patterson and Sherwood gave Brentwood great field position and intelligent kicking from Tom Lucas-Roast and Burr kept Tring pinned back in their 22. They had dominated the scrum all game and demonstrated that dominance with a pushover try from the 5 metre line that was finished by Patterson at the base of the scrum, Burr converted to move Brentwood to within 3 points. Tring manged to put some phases together, kicking a penalty to go 6 points clear and missed a long range penalty soon after that would have put them 2 scores clear with 5 minutes to go. They were punished when, after Burr had put them 8 metres out with a kick to the corner, the home forwards kept the ball for 26 phases until a penalty advantage was signalled and Burr put in a crossfield kick that was gathered by Wilkinson who slid over for the try. A difficult conversion was made to look routine by Burr who was mobbed by the home players as the ball sailed through the posts.
Full time Brentwood 24 – 23 Tring
A great game that both teams contributed to, Tring showed their quality in the first half but they struggled to deal with Brentwood’s intensity in the second half and went down to 13 players at one point in the game. Brentwood took advantage and showed patience deep into the second half to set up the game winning try. The forwards were dominant in the scrum throughout and carried with great power, constantly making ground and giving the backs front foot ball. A morale boosting win at a critical part of the season, they visit Bedford next week hopeful of getting another win and moving up the table going into the Christmas break
Team: Sherwood, Payne, Mcmillan, Killington, Suttle, Aldous, Amato (C), Patterson, White, Lucas-Roast, Galligan, Parris, Burr, Wilkinson, Hornby Subs: Richards, Bassenger, Batty