Sunday, December 3, 2023

Chelmsford 2nd XV 20 v 19 Thurrock 2nd XV

Thurrock decided to field a youthful side for this mid-table clash and weren’t disappointed with the youngsters’ performance. In fact it was the visitors that applied all the early pressure, which resulted in an early try for Alistair MacDonald following some superb forward and back interpassing.

From the restart Thurrock again took control but were penalised for an infringement at the ruck which allowed Scrum Half Andy Lichfield to claw the home side back with a finely struck penalty. Thurrock again piled on the pressure and following a powerful scrum released their own Scrum Half Neil Cockerill to fly in for a try, duly converted by Mitchell Greatorex.

The home side continued to attack Tees line and from a quick penalty it was only a superb last-ditch crunching tackle from Tighthead Prop Ant Pease that kept Chelmsford out. However, following some loose kicking from the Tees backline, the ball was spun out wide to Winger Ash Wright to outpace the Thurrock defence and score out wide for a fine solo effort.

With the score at 8-12 at the interval, Thurrock faced the second half going up the inclined pitch and felt confident that if they stuck to the way that they were playing they would edge away. However, Chelmsford had other ideas and kept Thurrock pinned close to their own line with some tactical kicking.

Despite Thurrock’s solid lineout all game, a loose ball was collected by Second Row Dave Watson to crash over the Thurrock line, with Andy Lichfield adding the conversion. Thurrock continued to apply pressure at the set piece and continually turned over possession but could not convert this into points.

Unfortunately for Back Row Lee Herrington, who had done a sterling job all afternoon clearing up and turning over ball, he was adjudged to have come off his feet at a ruck once to often and was yellow carded.

With depleted numbers it was again back to the Chelmsford speedster Ash Wright to penalise Thurrock by powering his way through two tackles and outpacing the Thurrock defence to score out wide. Finding themselves trailing 20-12 and rapidly running out of time, Tees put in some fine displays and, following the reintroduction of Herrington were duly rewarded with a cracking try by Jimmy Mitchell which was gain converted by Mitchell Greatorex, which was the final act of the game. Excellent performances from Cunningham, Neil, Keefe and Scott.


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