Tough battle for Wymondham

WYMONDHAM failed to upset the form books on Saturday going down 22-7 to league leaders Colchester who, despite losing on their previous two outings, showed why they are in top spot.

WYMONDHAM failed to upset the form books on Saturday going down 22-7 to league leaders Colchester who, despite losing on their previous two outings, showed why they are in top spot.

However, had Wymondham slotted three penalties that were available and not let in two soft tries the match would have been a much closer affair but it was Colchester who were much more clinical and decisive in keys areas recording their 12th win of the season and extending their lead at the top of the table to three points.

Early in the game the visitors confirmed that they intended to play 15-man rugby and as early as the fifth minute stretched Wymondham but Dom Gooch was hauled down by yet another try-saving tackle from Ian Harris.

This was a minor reprieve for the home side as seven minutes later left wing, Jon Vine went over for Colchester's first score and fly half, Pete le Marquand, converted.

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Four minutes later a poor clearance kick went straight to the arms of Adam Cook who launched a counter attack and once again it was Vine who ended the move creating his own space when he dummied then went for the line, le Marquand once again converted leaving some concerned faces on the Wymondham touchline with the home side two scores down inside twenty minutes.

Wymondham though didn't let these setbacks affect their game and drove solidly into the Colchester half winning a penalty that just drifted wide but the home team were beginning to play more on the front foot and the front row trio of Stewart Forton, Neil Harris and Aaron Swanborough were all lively and causing problems in both the set-pieces and loose play.

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The Red and Blacks' only score eventually came following some excellent line-out work and then quick ball across the three-quarters and it was Richard Dodd's timing coupled with his angled run that split Colchester's defence and the full back scored his second try in consecutive home games. Ross Crook's conversion put Wymondham back in touch with some 15 minutes left in the half.

The home side's bad luck though once again reared its ugly head when in an innocuous-looking attempt at a tap tackle resulted in Andy Wells suffering what looked like a badly dislocated shoulder.

Eighteen-year-old Seb Jones became the 50th player used by the club this season and he proceeded to have a solid game, first in the centre and finally on the wing following an injury to Sam Clover.

With half-time just seconds away Colchester delivered the coup de grace, with Wymondham only needing to get the ball out of play Colchester recovered possession and their New Zealand centre Knox Alofivae crashed over.

The second half was much tighter, Wymondham arguably with the lion's share of territory and possession but they failed to breach a solid Colchester defence but Colchester always looked dangerous on the counter attack, the only points of the half coming from the boot of le Marquand whose drop goal came with eight minutes remaining.

This was by no means an ignominious defeat and the Red and Black endeavour more than matched that of the visitors. However, Colchester exude an arrogance that comes from winning and their ability to up the tempo in the red zone, both in attack and defence, gives them an edge.

Wymondham though are much improved over recent weeks but they now need to get back into a winning habit themselves.

Leathes Prior Man of the Match: Neil Harris.

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