BEs go close but their first win still slips through their grasp

Barnet Elizabethans 16 Braintree 21

This latest league reverse just about summed up BEs' season to date.

Leading 13-0 after the half hour mark the home side seemed to be coping with opponents and an erratic referee in good measure, only for it all to blow up in their faces as Braintree carved open BEs' midfield defence for two identical tries either side of half time.

Winger Mick Johnson scored the opening try, taking a final pass from No 8 Destro as the ball was spun out wide following some concerted pressure on the visitors' line and shortly afterwards scrum half Pete Bott scampered over having spotted a gap after some frantic exchanges in the Braintree 22.

With Hillard adding a penalty soon after all looked rosy with the break approaching.

Then the wheels came off. Braintree started to impose themselves up front and, with scrum half Page making some powerful surges around the fringes, the alarming lack of pace in the BEs back row was cruelly exposed.

Although the two tries were beautifully executed and initial tackles were missed, there was no secondary cover on view and full back Borst was left in a no win situation on both occasions.

Braintree continued to prosper as play ebbed and flowed in the second half but the visitors wrapped things up with the try of the game and possibly the best score seen at Byng Road all season.

The ball was transferred the length of the pitch through half a dozen pairs of hands before being dotted down near the BEs posts. Tunningley once again adding the extra points.

To their credit BEs came storming back. Hillard pushed the visitors onto their try line with one superb 40 metre touch kick but, infuriatingly, went over the top at a following ruck and lines were cleared.

Braintree's defence was resolute as the home side threw everything at them, the sole reward being a second penalty success by Hillard with five minutes left on the clock.

Despite another defeat BEs can take heart from their performance in the first 30 minutes and, with the return of two influential players in skipper Robb and full back Goldsmith, must brace themselves for a tricky fixture at Diss in a fortnight's time and a must-win home game against Chingford on November 28th.

BEs are without a competetive fixture this weekend.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000.Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.