In a BL League that is packed with second teams (Thurrock, Southend and Rochford are the only 4th teams in this League) Thurrock finally went down fighting 12 – 10 to Maldon 2nds. Against a side that is fighting for the revered first team places, Thurrock never dominated, except in the final 10 minutes.
Maldon 2nds opened the scoring with a simple try, where a missed tackle led to an easy overlap for a run out wide for the winger.
Thurrock then had plenty of pressure, but the Maldon defence held. After a long clearance kick from the Maldon key player at outside half, Maldon took a very quick line out, with the Thurrock defence nowhere and the wing had an easy run in under the posts. This they duly converted. Thurrock gain had the misfortune to loose flanker Ralphie Davies to a pulled hamstring, adding to their growing injury problems. However, they then introduced the hard hitting Chris Farraway into the fray, for one of his rare appearances of the season. After another excellent break by Paul Barton at centre, who passed on to Danny Kearney, who was tackled just short of the line, only for Barton to follow up and go over himself. Father and son duo, Frank and Dean Monk then linked to drive forward, but the move was stopped by an affside call.
At half time Thurrock also lost long serving stalwart second row Ian Cunningham to a pulled calf muscle, replaced by Liam Walsh, who was to be rested for this game.
After half time, Thurrock came out all guns blazing and, after concerted pressure, forced a five yard scrum, from which Chris Farraway duly drove over to score wide out. Unfortunately Gareth Burge, playing his first game for several seasons after injury, narrowly missed the conversion. This made the score 12 – 10. Thurrock then really put the pressure on and were unlucky not to be awarded several tries, notably from newcomer to the 4 team, Tony Millsom. Thurrock forwards were now driving well on all occasions, but the Maldon defence held enough to keep Thurrock out.
With an increasing injury list, Thurrock will need to draw on all their reserves and experience when they face Upminster at home next week.