COLCHESTER Rugby Club banished their mid-winter blues in spectacular fashion, writes EDWARD MARRIAGE.

They thumped Amersham and Chiltern 56-0, in a nine-try demolition.

It was an emphatic return to form in London League One North for the Blacks, whose three-match losing run had dropped them to fifth in the league.

Star of the show was centre Jona Crisp who completed a hat-trick of tries on his first appearance of the season.

Crisp was named coaches’ man-of-the-match but such was Colchester’s all-round performance that there was no shortage of candidates.

Special mention goes to outside centre George Liversidge and fly-half David Higgins, who ran the game from fly-half and whose goal kicking was more than tidy on a horribly blustery day.

The forwards too were dominant throughout, with Oly Pickett’s bullocking runs too much for the young Amersham side.

Head coach Ben Scully said: “Fair play to the boys. They took the pain from the last few weeks and really brought a great intensity and learning ethic into the week.”

“We took out attack down to basics and it seems it’s given the boys a real bit of confidence to create within that. "Our challenge now is to replicate that for the rest of the season but I think the boys have got that within them.”

Leading through an early Higgins penalty, Colchester’s first try soon followed, a series of rucks saw Liversidge break and feed wing Joe Flexman to score on his return to the side off the back of an injury last season.

Indiscipline briefly halted Colchester’s progress with the concession of four soft penalties.

But Amersham failed to capitalise and approaching the half-hour Colchester exerted their authority.

Jamie Miller - characteristically effective at number eight - picked up from a five-metre scrum to score Colchester’s second.

And before half-time Crisp had his first, melting through non-existent tackles to give the visitors a 20-0 lead at the break.

Playing with an increasingly strong wind, Colchester stepped on the gas.

Crisp’s second try brought the bonus point, a lovely move involving backs and forwards and including another strong break from Oly Pickett.

Full-back Conor Austin, a former Colchester player who re-joined from Bishop’s Stortford earlier in the week, added the fifth with a jinking run from 30 metres.

A significantly shorter distance was the order of the day for prop James Mitchell, who flopped over for his fourth try in two games.

And Crisp completed his hat-trick, finishing off a lovely move involving Oly Pickett, Sam Butler and Liversidge.

Crisp took a well-earned break, happy to be back, but admitting that his 29-year-old hamstrings perhaps didn’t agree.

Hooker Butler brought up the half-century following a line-out - forwards coach Lee Soper’s triumphant claim that he had invented the move at Thursday training provoking an impressive touch-line celebration.

No-one deserves a try more than the tireless Oly Pickett, who duly added the ninth.

The win takes Colchester back to third, one place above old rivals Southend, who visit Mill Road on Saturday (3pm).