BRAINTREE Rugby Club know that a top-three finish is still within their grasp if they can keep pushing hard at the end of the London League division three Essex season.

A last-gasp try by Joe Young gave the Black and Ambers a crucial bonus point as they beat Ilford 29-12 at Robbs Wood last weekend and they will head to Campion on Saturday knowing that third-placed Chelmsford are still in their sights.

There are four games to go before the end of the campaign and Chelmsford are just five points and one place above Braintree, who are now looking for a strong finish.

Their form since Christmas has been up and down, but the win against Ilford backed up a victory at Kings Cross Steelers in their previous outing and chairman of selectors David Gilder said it was important to have a strong run in the closing games.

He said: “It was important we avenged our defeat at Ilford earlier in the campaign and continued building momentum in the run-in to the end of the season.

“Ilford kept pulling themselves back into contention for the first 50 minutes before we finally pulled away.

“But although we didn't put a lot of points on the board I felt it was a comfortable day for us and we probably left a few tries out there.

“With the top half of the table as tight as it is the bonus points are crucial in maintaining fourth place, but it’s also within our grasp to push for a higher finish.”

Young's late score was one of two that the inside centre scored against Ilford and there were also tries from Tom Drew and Glen Whyatt as well as a penalty and three conversions from the boot of Josh Wadforth.

Will Humphreys picked up the Colebrook Offshore man-of-the-match award and head coach Jamie Clarke was pleased with his team's performance, despite them leaving it late in picking up the extra point.

He said: “I thought it was a very solid performance in a game that we controlled throughout.

“We may be left some scores out there, which meant us scoring the bonus point try very late on in the game.

"Overall though I was very happy with the result.

“This is a very young team and individual performances are improving week on week which is very encouraging for the club going forward.”

Braintree are on the road this weekend when they travel down to Brentwood to face old adversaries Campion on Saturday.