Newly promoted Colchester beat mid-table Tring 57-39 at windy Raven Park as the weather which switched from sunshine in the first half, to showers including a hailstorm in the second.

Despite the unpredictable weather the two teams played a fine match strongly contested from start to finish with the Blacks finally running out victorious by nine tries to six.

Colchester kicked off and it wasn’t long before the visitors earned a penalty on the home 10-metre line which their scrum-half missed.

Back came Colchester and the ball was moved to centre Dylan Read who jinked through the defence to score an unconverted try.

From the restart Tring attacked and were awarded a scrum which Colchester overturned, moving the ball to wing Connor O’Reilly - who was making his 50th appearance - who used his pace to speed up the pitch and touch down under the posts.

Tring replied with two successful penalties before a period of intense competition with scrums evenly matched.

But the Blacks had the upper hand in the lineouts with no.8 Danny Whiteman linking well with jumpers Sam Easton and Matt Edison and a successful catch and drive saw the forwards led by captain James Mitchell drive over the line for Whiteman to score.

On the half-hour mark Colchester again attacked and a good kick from O’Reilly was quickly followed up by scrum-half Cory Button who scored a converted try to make the score 24-6.

Undeterred, Tring attacked from the restart and great running by their left wing around the home defence led to their first converted try.

The visitors pressed forward again and were awarded a scrum five metres from the posts, but the Blacks turned over possession and got the ball to full-back Jimmy Mpailane who sprinted the length of the pitch to score a fine converted try.

Mpailane had a hand in Colchester’s next try when he caught the Tring kick-off and used his speed to cut through the defence and offload to O’Reilly, who ran round the defence to score again.

Just before half time Tring thrust forward via their left wing, who fed their inside centre to touch down and make the half-time score 36-18.

During the second half Colchester received no less than three yellow cards due to infringements by Joe MacMillan, Jayden Boshoff and James Mitchell but it didn’t stop them scoring a further three tries

Button, Mpailane and Edison all went over, while Tring added three more tries of their own to complete the scoring.

Sponsors Whitehall named Mpailane as their man of the match whilst the coaches’ award went to second row Edison.

Players and loyal fans celebrated promotion well into the night and with next season being the club’s centenary, Colchester will be playing at their highest level yet.

Colchester: J Mitchell (captain) J McMillan, T Poasa, S Easton, M Edison, O Pickett, C Kerr, D Whiteman, C Button, J Boshoff, J Varela, D Reed, J Bodkin, C O’Reilly, J Mpailane, C Jeffrey, A Gerard, Roko.