LONDON 2 NE
THURROCK 42 v 5 SAFFRON WALDEN
Thurrock put together another fine team performance to consolidate their position at the top of the table. The home side made an unusually nervous start and the visitors had the best of the opening exchanges and Thurrock escaped going behind when they missed a penalty.
Thurrock gradually got a grip of the game with half backs Ian Rudgley and Andy Eaton using the wind advantage with some probing kicks to gain territorial advantage, which they quickly made pay as Earl Gorman slotted over a penalty. This settled any nerves and quickly added to their point’s total, a line out close to the visitor’s line, a catch and drive ended with Ben Timson going over for the try, Gorman added the extra points.
Thurrock used the advantage well with Darryl Worster also gaining yards from full back with some fine defensive kicks which quickly turned attack into defence, and hooker Dan Carey was on hand to get the next try after great work from Bradleigh Rettigan and Ben Stanley. Another Gorman penalty and another touch down from the outstanding Rettigan this time converted by Gorman gave Thurrock a comfortable cushion at the break leading 25-0.
With conditions now favouring the visitors, it was expected that Thurrock would be on the back foot for the half, but they had other ideas. They took the game to Saffron Walden, fresh from a fine victory over Enfield last week, and increased their lead when Neil Wakefield was given space after good work from Rob Batho and made no mistake to score close to the posts, Gorman added the extra points. The travelling side did however get on the scoreboard, when a mistake in Thurrock line-out gave the back row Curley the simple task of falling on the ball, the conversion was wide.
Thurrock though bounced straight back and replacement Sam Porter was given space after good hands from the backs and with his first touch of the ball sprinted clear to score an unconverted try. The game in closing stages was lit up when some good close see second row Aaron Woodward got clear of the cover defence and ran fully 45 metres to score wide out, the conversion was over but not given by the official who believed it went over the post, but it did not matter as Thurrock were deserved winners.
Team Darryl Worster, Neil Wakefield, Ben Stanley, Earl Gorman, Nathan Farrell, Ian Rudgely, Andy Eaton, Dave Stevens, Dan Carey, Ben Partridge, Andy Kettleton, Aaron Woodward, Ben Timson, Rob Batho, Bradleigh Rettigan, Rep: Anthony Pease, Ben Madden, Sam Porter
This week Thurrock host Colchester at Oakfield, in the EDF Energy Intermediate Cup game kicks off at 2.30pm