COLCHESTER have a long trek ahead of them this weekend.

They travel to Guernsey, a journey of more than 220 miles, in their National League division three London and South East match.

They will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 25-7 loss to Tonbridge Juddian at Mill Road.

But Colchester head coach Anthony O’Riordan is quietly confident that they can come back from the Channel Islands with something to show for their efforts.

The trip is nothing new to the Blacks, however, as they took on Guernsey in a pre-season friendly, losing 36-26.

O’Riordan said: “We can’t fly out from Stansted for some reason so we have to go from Gatwick. We played them in pre-season and it was a close game.

“Obviously they will have changed from that point, as have we, but their playing style won’t have. We are going out there quite confident that we can come back with the win.

“Callum Irvine is back in the team and our pack is very strong.

“I think this is probably the best position we can get into before a game.

“Hopefully, we can get there early enough to get the journey out of our legs and have a decent warm up.”

Looking back on last week’s defeat to Tonbridge, in which Colchester were trailing 22-0 at half-time, O’Riordan added: “We gave ourselves a mountain to climb in the first half.

“We let them score three easy tries with a couple of missed tackles and defensive lapses.

“But once we got on top of things and our defence, we were on top.

“If you look at it, we won the second half on points.

“They are there for the taking and I will be confident of a win going to their place in the second half of the season.

“We just have to concentrate on our game and work hard in training.”

In Essex League division one, leaders Braintree travel to Writtle Wanderers on the back of a 51-13 win at Stanford le Hope.

Manager Brian Joslin said: “It was another powerful performance from the boys with the whole squad playing well.

“I was very pleased because we had difficult selection decisions to make before the game, especially around the back row.

“The lads we left out helped the second team to a 12-7 win at home to a strong Old Cooperians side and the competition for places is keeping everyone on their toes.”

Division rivals Maldon are on the road to Millwall.

In Eastern Counties League division one, Mersea Island entertain Thetford on the back of a run of four defeats.

In division two south, Harwich & Dovercourt entertain Ipswich YM Hawks, while Mistley travel to Stowmarket seconds.