Letchworth 8 v 31 Thurrock

WITH Thurrock’s league opposition crying off on friday, the nearest opposition that Thurrock could find was in North Hertfordshire, whose first team play a league above that of Thurrock’s. With the distance and traffic, Thurrock arrived too late for their customary warm up and this showed in the opening twenty minutes of the match.

The home side were very well drilled and much more competitive at the rucks and mauls, which resulted in early pressure and points for them. The first was a well worked try by the backline for winger Spencer Davis to score in the corner under pressure from a covering tackle by Alistair Bok that only just failed to deny Letchworth. Following Thurrock being penalised for entering the ruck from the side, Letchworth opted for the the kick as Thurrock’s defence began to improve.

However, as Thurrock finally began to compete, the forwards began to win more possession and with some superb hands and support between backs and forwards alike, Frazer Kidd crashed over for a Thurrock try.

With Thurrock trailing 8-5 at the break, they started the second half with renewed vigour and began to dominate in the forwards, releasing the backs for wave after wave of attacks. It was from the dominant line out that Hooker Elliott Keefe fed Outside Half Ben Madden, who fed a wonderful flat pass to crash Centre Ricky Love to cruise over, under the posts.

With Madden adding the conversion, Thurrock took the lead 12-8 and did not look back. The visitors continued to run the ball from everywhere, which caused the home side severe problems in defence. From a defensive lineout on Letchworth’s line, pressure from Reece Cunningham, saw Tanny Tirana, making his full match debut, take the high ball and pounce over the line for a deserved try.

From the restart, Thurrock were awarded another scrum, which allowed the running back line to carve through the defence for a try by Ben Madden.

However, try of the match, if not the season, came from a break deep in the Thurrock half again by Thurrock Talisman Elliott Keefe, who breached the defence with a carving run, popping the ball to Ben Partridge to power through, taking the ball back again to feed Karl Warren, recollecting it again to sprint away and, before the Letchworth full back could make a tackle, pop to feed Winger Adam Towler, also making his debut and having a superb game, for the final cruise in under the posts. With Madden adding three conversions, Thurrock emerged comfortable winners, despite a tough battle up front.

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