Hertford 27 v 23 Brentwood (London & South East Premier Division) 18th January 2019
By Matthew Burr
Final play heartbreak for Brentwood
Brentwood made a couple of enforced changes to the team that had comprehensively beaten Sidcup the week before, Jack Richards started in the front row in place of the injured Sherwood and Ollie Lee came in on the wing for his first ever league start. They fell just short, taking a 3 point lead into the last play but came away with just 1 losing bonus point from a game that should have brought much more.
The visitors started the game strongly and took a 10-0 lead after 10 minutes from a Burr penalty and a try for Ed Hornby and the try was typical of the play that brought Brentwood the London 1 North title last year. A sweeping backs move and a neat tap pass from Ben Amato put Jack Richards free out wide, he offloaded to Joel Bevans-Royston who was stopped just short near the corner, one more phase to suck the defenders in and a crossfield kick was gathered and offloaded in one movement by winger Ollie Lee to Hornby who touched down by the opposite corner. Both teams traded penalties in an evenly balanced game before Hertford moved within 3 points at halftime with a converted try on 25 minutes. In trying to prevent the try Ed Hornby and Charlie Wilkinson had a sickening clash of heads which forced both of them from the field, Wilkinson to hospital to be stitched up and Hornby to watch the match from the bench. These changes saw flanker James Vogel come on at outside center and James White to line up on the wing.
H/T Hertford 10 - 13 Brentwood
Hertford started the second half strongly and scored 2 quick fire tries to move in a 20-13 lead but Brentwood dragged themselves back into the match, Vogel and White worked an opening down the flank and they forced a penalty try from a rolling maul on 70 minutes to level up the scores and both teams felt that they could win the game. Brentwood camped on the Hertford line for 5 minutes before Burr sat back and kicked a drop goal that put Brentwood 3 points up with 2 minutes to go. A knock on from the kick off handed the ball to Hertford and they held on to ball for 10 phases before dotting down in the corner.
A cruel ending for Brentwood in a pulsating match, another one that that could and maybe should have won. A familiar story this season but these matches show that Brentwood's position in the league can be improved with more luck and a little more precision.
Team: Visser, Richards, Bevans-Royston, Suttle, Killington, Bassenger, Whaley, Amato, Galligan, Burr, Lee, Thomas, Hornby, Lucas-Roast Subs: Mcmillan, Vogel, White