COLCHESTER moved up to second in London One North after overcoming Amersham and Chiltern 24-15, writes STEVE WHITEMAN.

The hosts won a hard-fought game at Mill Road, to make it four wins out of four in London One North.

The Blacks have leapfrogged this weekend's opponents Southend, who lost to Eton Manor in what is turning out to be a very competitive league.

Inspired by the example of men-of-the-match hooker Charlie Thorogood and flanker Oly Pickett, the Blacks matched the visitors in the first half, had a purple patch just after the interval when they scored twice and spent the rest of the game keeping Amersham and Chiltern at bay.

Credit must go to scrum half and captain for the day Brett Cutbush, who put immense pressure on his opposite number Ben Dugdale containing this skilful player throughout the game.

Chiltern kicked off with the wind at their backs and soon their full-back Jack Kenyon converted a penalty.

After ten minutes, Colchester's fullback James Crozier replied with a penalty of his own beginning what was to be a peerless kicking display.

Chiltern came back at the hosts and worked their way into the Blacks' half and, after a series of scrums, were awarded a penalty try to go 10-3 up.

Then came the best try of the game when Colchester fly-half David Higgins kicked the ball into touch on Chiltern's 22 line.

The lineout ball was caught cleanly and driven forward before being moved swiftly along the backs to right wing Sean Bundy.

He galloped through the defence to score by the posts, levelling the score 10-10.

Chiltern's lock Joshua Finch being yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle, as the sides went in level at the break.

Colchester's Cutbush and Higgins made full use of the following wind early in the second half, raining kicks down on the visitors' back three players.

Good follow-up work by flankers Oly Pickett and Freddie Skovly saw them score two good tries in quick succession to put Colchester 24-10 up.

Fortunes changed after this though when first centre Ben Murphy came off with an injury to be replaced by Harvey Skinner and then Slovly made way for Ollie White, who subsequently also got injured.

And Colchester suffered further disruption when Thorogood was yellow-carded and had to take ten minutes’ rest.

Chiltern capitalised on this confusion and pressed forward, earning a lineout in Colchester's half.

An effective catch and drive enabled them to move the ball along their backs to their right-wing Angus Pollard, who scored an unconverted try in the corner.

Chiltern tried desperately to level as the clock ticked down and threw everything at Colchester but despite being camped in the Blacks' red zone for a long time, could not turn pressure into points.

Colchester's defensive line held and there was great relief from the home supporters when the half backs eventually kicked the ball out of harm's way to end an exciting match.