This was definitely a ‘game of two halves’ as they say. Thurrock 4th team lost the first half 24 – 0, but won the second half, but only 0 – 7.
It was always going to be a hard fixture, away against high flying Southend, doubly so with the extereme weather conditions. Thurrock again started poorly and were 12 – 0 down within 10 minutes. Scrum half Spike Adams then had to leave the field due to injury and replaced by eventual Thurrock ‘Man of the Match’ Paul Callow. Paul, returning from injury, started on the wing, having played cenntre and back row for the 4ths this season. This alone demonstrates the injury problems of the 4th team this year. Southend never let Thurrock settle and their powerful and very swift back division took the game to Thurrock at every opportunity. Thurrock, facing the wind, managed to keep further scores down to 2 more tries before half time, due to several last gasp tackles, especially from centre Cunningham Jnr.
Thurrock turned around to play with the elements and soon put Southend under considerable pressure. In fact, Southend were under this pressure the whole half, with fly half Luke Cotter and centre Cunningham Jnr kicking very effectively indeed, constantly pinning Southend back in their own 22. It was from a line out catch and drive, with several penalties resulting for Thurrock, that centre Cunningham Jnr finally frove over the line under the posts with Cotter making the conversion. Thurrock kept Southend under the cosh for the remainder of the game, which led to many desperate measures by Southend, which led to their captian being sin-binned for the 10 minutes remaining of the game. However, Thurrock were not able to make their superior numbers count and finally went down 24 points to seven.