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Basildon Rugby Club off the mark with victory against Braintree
BASILDON recorded their first victory of the season at the third attempt, beating Braintree 34-28.
But, despite the final result, it was Braintree who started strongly and deservedly took the lead with an early penalty.
Basildon gradually dragged themselves back into the match and, in the 20th minute, their leading try scorer Greg Smith scorched over in the corner.
Basildon continued to threaten with good breaks from their impressive centre pairing of Wayne Collier and Daniel Dieu de la Bellefontaine.
However, Braintree retook the lead after an interception at the half-way line and a gallop to the line.
But Basildon reacted well to the setback and hit back when skipper James White broke through and fed returning winger John Bonnet who ran 20 metres to the line.
On the 40 minute mark, Smith then got his second try and Basildon looked to be heading to the break with a lead of 17-7.
But it was Braintree who changed ends the happier after hitting back in five minutes of stoppage time to make it 17-17 at the break.
They then went in to a six-point lead with two penalties but Basildon replied with a try from replacement prop John Hickey to cut the visitors’ lead to just a single point.
A break from number eight Mike Thomas then led to a try from Charlie Baker to put the home side back in front.
Braintree refused to give up and soon replied with an unconverted try in the corner.
But Basildon’s victory was secured right at the death when fly half Ed Branch capped a fine performance with the final try of the game.