Brentwood 18, Rochford 24

BRENTWOOD bowed out of the Essex Intermediate Cup at the semi-final stage after a close fought clash with Rochford on Saturday.

Brentwood applied pressure from the starting whistle and were amply rewarded after a Rochford breakdown to score a converted try. The hosts then followed up with a penalty to increase their lead.

Rochford pulled back with a converted try but when the visitors againplayed themselves into trouble, Brentwood ruthlessly exploited the situation to score another try.

Rochford's second row Ross Murphy was yellow carded before half-time arrived and when Brentwood kicked a penalty and Rochford found themselves 18-7 ahead it looked likley they would make the final.

However, the visotrs stepped up a gear in the second half and made the crucial breakthrough after a Brentwood move broke down and notched a converted try.

The recovery continued when a period of intense play on the Brentwood line ended a try from a surge forward. Again it was converted and, for the first time, the visitors were in the lead.

They sealed victory with a late dropped goal, leaving Brentwood to rue a final opportunity that had slipped from their grasp albeit in a memorable match against a side who now go on to try and claim the cup in successive years.

On Saturday, February 3 the club will be holding a lunch for the parents of the youth team players.

Run along the same format as the Presidents Lunches, it is hoped that each team will have a table (10 to a table). The cost is £15 a head and a £5 deposit is required.

See secretary Dawn Pickard or chairman and vets captain Kevin Ambrose for more information.

On Saturday Brentwood return to London 3 North east League action with a trip to Braintree.