Eton Manor’s penultimate game of 2019 saw them record an impressive 18-13 win over high-flying Colchester in London 1 North.

Tries from Rhys Davis-Horne, Elliott Brown and Cameron Dutch added to an early penalty from Callum McKie to give the hosts a win that sees them sit sixth in the table with one game to go in this half of the season.

Colchester, meanwhile, suffer their third defeat of the season and lose ground on runaway leaders North Walsham, who have won 12 of their 13 games.

Facing up to a team they hadn’t beaten since September 2014, Manor’s team selection was disrupted by the late withdrawal of Craig Ratford due to illness, so McKie came in to replace him and play his first full game in 18 months due to injury.

Colchester got the game going and after some good pressure in the early minutes, they took the lead when, after a succession of penalties were given away, they gave up trying to breach the Manor defence and instead kicked in for a 3-0 lead.

Manor were being pinned back inside their own 22 but Aaron Lowe got them out by feeding Dutch who advanced a further 40 yards by dodging tackles. A high tackle could have seen the referee stop play but the advantage was given, and McKie sent a drop goal through the posts to make it 3-3.

The home side soon edged into the lead when Davis-Horne lurked by the side of a ruck and dove on the ball once it was in the dead ball area. Colchester protested, but the five-point try was awarded.

Both sides had chances to add to their tallies at the start of the second half, but it was Manor who drew first blood in the second period. Davis-Horne put a perfect kick through the onrushing defence before gathering and laying off to Brown and he had the pace to beat the covering defenders and score in the corner.

Manor were soon on the attack again and sealed the result in style with a third try, Dutch going over having scampered through the Colchester defence.

Colchester were able to profit on some complacency from Manor towards the end and they got themselves back to within five points through a penalty and a late converted try, but fortunately for the home side it wasn’t enough and the points were sealed in their favour.

After the game, director of rugby Mark Farrell said: “Our defence was yet again the strongest aspect of our game, ultimately forcing Colchester to kick for goal which set the template for the rest of the game and when we finally decided to look after the ball, we also managed to score three very well executed tries.”

Manor’s final game of the year takes place this weekend when they make the trip to Harpenden.