INCLEMENT weather conditions had left the pitch at Rochford resembling something like the Somme and most of the first half resembled the battle. Despite the best efforts of both sides, it was difficult to establish any real passages of play and, consequently, the score was level until late into the first half.
For the first 15 minutes, it was only the home side that played any convincing rugby, although the Thurrock defence held them off with relative ease. As Thurrock began to find their feet and adapt to the pitch conditions, the flare of the younger players in the side began to emerge and, combined with the grunt of the more experienced players, the home side inevitably began to give away penalties for infringements.
Unusually, Aaron Burns, missed an opportunity to open Thurrock’s scoring, but this was more than made up for with a superb try by Hooker Elliott Keefe, following some fine lines of running and support play from forwards and backs alike which carved up the home side’s defence.
The second try was from a bit of initiative from Dan Kemp, who quickly took a penalty and crashed over the line. The second half saw the Thurrock Pack take control and with their direct and forceful play, the gaps in the home sides defence began to appear and it was Thurrock’s fitness that began to tell and, following a scrum against the head, the ball was taken up by the Thurrock back row, to finally release the backs and Winger Kaz Pehlivan to sprint over for the try.
Much to Rochford’s credit, they kept spoiling and were rewarded with a try following pressure from the Scrum Half, resulting in a loose pass and following some quick hands, a good counter attack that left the visitors all at sea. However, the last word was left with Thurrock as they finally stamped their mark on the match with a fine try by Centre Ricky Love. With Aaron Burns adding three conversions and Ben Madden one, Thurrock were deserved winners. Special mention should go to Lee Herrington, Karl Warren, Reece Collins, Alistair Bok and Mitchell Greatorex for fine performances.