London League division one north

VISITING newly-promoted Sudbury brought Colchester a bonus point win that was only marred in the last ten minutes by a bout of indiscipline.

Despite this, Colchester climbed from fourth to third in the London League division one north table after making the most of an excellent pitch and cheered on by a large crowd.

Three players were unavailable due to injuries and their places were taken by veteran lock Elliott Castle, full-back Damien Brambley and hooker Charlie Thorogood, the latter on the bench with newcomer Hugo Kellaway.

Sudbury kicked off and almost immediately were awarded a penalty that their fly-half converted giving them an early 3-0 lead.

Within minutes, Colchester replied with a penalty of their own by wing James Crozier.

The game proceeded and it was soon evident that the Blacks' scrum was stronger providing their backs with quality ball.

They pressed towards the home try line and forced the defence to take a line-out only ten metres out.

Flanker Danny Whiteman burst forward, intercepted the half backs' pass, to score the first try.

Later skipper Liam Pickett stole the ball from a Sudbury line-out, it was moved first left then right before Castle crashed over the line.

It meant a 15-3 lead to the Blacks who were looking very confident at this stage, with Brambley having a very positive effect with his good catching and weaving runs.

Later, following a clash of bodies, Rhys Hartley left the field and on came Dan Brennan.

Sudbury got the ball to their backs and with good handling attacked down the slope for their outside centre to claim a converted try.

From the restart, Colchester made ground before being awarded a penalty for an opponent being offside.

They opted for a scrum and drove back the opposition to enable scrum-half Matt Wadling to dart over for a converted try.

Colchester were soon back at Sudbury's end and intense pressure resulted in prop James Mitchell going over between the posts for the bonus point try. Crozier converted and at half-time the lead was 29-10.

Early after the interval the Blacks' pack again drove forward for flanker Ollie Pickett to score their fifth try.

Sudbury were now 34-10 down but did not give up and only excellent defence by centres Joe Flexman and Francois Rossouw kept them out and when Crozier converted his second penalty, the lead was extended to 37-10.

From this moment, though, Colchester's indiscipline tarnished what had been an excellent display of running rugby.

In turn, the skipper and Wadling were yellow carded and had to leave the pitch then a fracas broke out among the forwards and both number eight Harrison Pickett and hooker Hartley left the game as they were red carded.

Colchester now had only 11 players on the field to hold out for a while until the home side rounded their depleted numbers and scored their second converted try to make the final score of this pulsating derby match 37-17.