Essex League division one premier

RAMPANT Braintree sealed the Essex League division one title with a devastating 83-0 demolition of Billericay at Robbs Wood.

The Black and Ambers have been a class apart in their league all season and can now look forward to locking horns with some more old foes in London League division three north east next season.

Their promotion has never really looked in any doubt during a campaign which has also seen them reach the final of the Essex President’s Shield on April 22.

The Robbs Wood faithful were half expecting their heroes to be awarded what would have been a fourth walkover of the season following Billericay’s inability to field a side in the return fixture.

To their credit, the Bees turned up this time, but in truth they never looked remotely like scoring and were merely cannon fodder in what was a searing display of attacking rugby by their hosts.

Brian Joslin and Gary Coote’s men were in total control from the first whistle and destroyed the visitors with a 13-try blitz.

Tom Drew and Joss Adams both scored hat-tricks, with Josh Hine and James Abbott grabbing a brace each and John Smillie, Tom Carslake and Craig Willis also crossing the try line.

The imperious Willis also kept the scoreboard ticking over throughout with an impressive haul of nine conversions to bring his points tally to 273 for the season.

Skipper Smillie led from the front and looked a threat every time he got his hands on the ball but the real damage was done by midfield team-mates Hine, Willis and Adams.

Coach Joslin said: “It was a real 18-man effort and we looked like we were in the mood to score some tries straight from the kick off.

“Billericay gave it their all and defended stubbornly but in the end we were just far too powerful for them and to wrap the title up with three games to go is very satisfying.”

Braintree: Dann, Abbott, Adams, Willis, Drew, Hine, Martindale, Coote, W Turner, Perry, Apps, Fitzearle, Carslake, Benfield, Smillie. Reps: Johnston, Moss, Richards.

See this week's paper for more reaction to Braintree's title triumph.