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Old rivals Eton Manor and Colchester ready for latest sequel

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 October 2018

Eton Manor's Rob Falls looks to get past a couple of Sudbury opponents (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor's Rob Falls looks to get past a couple of Sudbury opponents (pic: Martin Pearl).

Archant

We look back on the recent history between former National League Three South foes Eton Manor and Colchester

Eton Manor will entertain fellow unbeaten London One North side Colchester today (Saturday) in what looks a cracking clash on paper.

Jamie Connors, head coach at the New Wilderness, certainly agrees and knows his team will have to be at their best defensively to still be undefeated come full time.

Colchester have won six games out of six and scored 351 points so far – the most in the division – but Manor have triumphed in five of their six fixtures and drawn the other against sixth-placed H.A.C.

It sets it up nicely for this afternoon’s contest, Connors said: “It should be a good match.

“We obviously know plenty about Colchester and they know plenty about us.

“They are a good side, a really good side and they have been racking up plenty of points this season and beat Luton (112-0) comfortably last time.

“It should be a good test and if anything they are a team who will probably enjoy our pitch, so we will have to show the defensive qualities we have shown so far, but we are looking forward to it.”

While Colchester scored more than 100 points during their last game with Luton, Manor demonstrated their class with a 39-0 victory to lowly Ruislip.

It was just their second away game of the season with four of their six matches taking place at the New Wilderness, which saw an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) installed during the summer.

Manor are still getting used to the surface, but want to remain unbeaten come the end of the Colchester encounter.

“If anything we probably would have liked to have score a few more tries on the AGP, but that’s fine,” Connors said.

“I suppose we are getting used to it like anything else and we are unbeaten at home, so it’s good and we are looking forward to hosting Colchester now.”

The rivalry between the clubs stretches back to the 2012/13 term when they were first promotion foes in the London One North.

Manor finished second ahead of Colchester in both the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons, but the two sides remained in the same division after the New Wilderness club were unable to clinch promotion in a play-off to the National League Three South.

The Essex outfit then pipped Connors’ men to the title in 2015 on the final-day following a dramatic 18-18 encounter in east London.

Manor did seal promotion this time via the play-offs, so the two clubs began the 2015/16 campaign as rivals in the National League Three South.

Yet while Colchester settled to life in a division higher impressively, Connors’ men did not and lost all 18 fixtures, including two to their old foes, to suffer relegation.

Last season the two clubs were in the same league again, but Manor failed in their hopes to get bragging rights after losing both matches (41-17 on the road and 29-19 at home).

Ahead of this latest sequel at the New Wilderness, revenge and a chance to show the club’s improvement will be the hosts’ main motivators.


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