COLCHESTER Rugby Club claimed a narrow 35-34 win over Brentwood in London One North, writes STEVE WHITEMAN.

The Blacks edged this battle for supremacy as their superior kicking gave them the edge, at King George’s Park.

Colchester's Director of Rugby Anthony O’Riordan said: “It was a good start by Colchester, Brentwood came back but, in the end, it was pleasing to come here and get a bonus point win."

Colchester fielded a strong squad with returners Oli Pickett, Alex Burman and Joe Flexman all playing their part in a hard-fought victory.

Winning the toss, skipper Danny Whiteman chose to play up the slope, a tactic often used by the hosts.

Only three minutes into the match, centre Brett Cutbush scored Colchester’s first try after good play by the whole team.

Shortly after this, centre Adam Thomas put in a crunching tackle that got the ball into Colchester hands.

And, following a kick by scrum half Andy Dixon, winger Dan Brennan dotted down for another converted try.

Five minutes later, Brentwood’s fly-half booted the ball to touch close to the clubhouse corner.

The ball was subsequently moved left for the number 11 to score an unconverted try.

But Colchester soon replied with another Cutbush try at the other end, which fly-half Dan Lewis converted.

Colchester were now 21-5 ahead but, before long, Brentwood scored two similar tries again in the left corner bringing the score closer at 21-17.

For the remainder of the first half neither side could breach the opposing defences, until Brentwood broke the impasse when a surge by their forwards led to a try putting them into a 22-21 lead.

After the break, having made no team changes, the Blacks regained the lead after just a minute through a successful Lewis penalty.

There then followed 20 minutes of attritional play with both sides testing the opposition but sometimes squandering scoring opportunities.

Hard working prop Alex Mitchell was replaced by Jerome Awesu and later substitutes Harry Bureau and Andy Goodbourne joined the fray.

Brentwood then attacked; their fly-half grubber kicked through and their right wing apparently touched down for a dubious try to put them three points ahead.

Lewis then converted another penalty to level at 27-27.

He then added another when the Brentwood pack were penalised for collapsing a maul, putting Colchester 30-27 ahead.

Colchester’s pack were working tirelessly and it was just reward when one of their number, flanker Oli Pickett thundered over for a fine score.

To their credit Brentwood came back at the end and added a try of their own, a penalty try after Lewis foul tackled their centre.

But Colchester claimed victory to move up to third spot ahead of a rest weekend.