London League division one north

INJURY-HIT Colchester slipped from second to third in the London League division one north table after an away defeat to Brentwood.

Turning around at half-time to play up the slope, the Blacks only had a slim lead and this wasn't enough against Brentwood, who often come good at home by using the slope advantage in the second half.

The hosts scored three tries and a penalty to the visitors' two tries and a penalty and the disappointed Blacks only had the small consolation of a losing bonus point.

Colchester kicked off and very soon fly-half David Higgins slotted a successful penalty kick unlike his opposite number whose penalty kick went wide of the posts.

But Brentwood soon pressed forward again after Higgins' drop-out, moving the ball swiftly to their winger, who scored an unconverted try in the corner for a 5-3 lead.

Almost as soon as the game resumed, though, calamity hit the visitors when Higgins pulled his hamstring and had to leave the field.

Centre Nick Flexman took his place, with substitute Richie Kaisia taking his place in turn.

Colchester's young pack was having difficulties against the heavier and more experienced home pack, however, scrum-half Jamie Murray made good use of the little quality ball he received from the scrums.

After 15 minutes of attritional play he kicked deep into the clubhouse corner touch.

A good catch and drive line-out took the Black pack over the line for number eight Jamie Miller to touch down and score.

In the remaining ten minutes of the half, skipper Danny Whiteman and lock Graeme Hay led by example to try to raise the forward effort while Flexman organised several back line attacks but to no avail and the Blacks could not improve on their three-point lead.

After the interval, Colchester started well and full-back Harvey Skinner soon kicked them into an attacking lineout position. Hooker Ed Holroyd linked with jumper Whiteman, the ball was moved to Miller, who made ground before releasing centre Jamie Light who claimed his first try of the season.

Skinner missed the conversion and the Blacks were now 13-5 ahead.

Coach Ben Skully rang the changes and veteran lock Eli Castle and Army player Sam Butler took to the field.

But Colchester still gave away a lot of penalties and soon one awarded by the referee was kicked by the home fly-half into Colchester's red zone leading to a converted try that brought the score close at 13-12.

Things did not go well for Colchester in the last quarter.

As levels of attrition rose in this physical encounter, first lock Harrison Pickett and then his brother Oly received yellow cards reducing the Blacks' numbers at a crucial time.

Late in the game Brentwood won a line-out and moved the ball to their right winger, who broke through to score the final try of the match leaving Colchester regretting their defeat.