On saturday, Thurrock 4ths played their last League game away to a team well above them in the League and were desperately looking for a win after recent very close defeats. They arrived only to find out that Old Brentwood 2nd team had no front row and so had to play uncontested scrums from the start, which was a big blow for Thurrocks powerful pack.
Thurrock started well, with Danny Kearney kicking very well out of hand at fly half, repeatedly pinning Old Brentwoods back in their own half. It was from a line out and a huge forward drive of some 35 metres, that veteran back row Steve Fox finally opened the scoring. Thurrock then had most of the play, but conceeded a converted try when Old B’s broke through in the backs and scored under the posts. Old B’s then broke through again, as their fast, organised backs took control and scored a converted try. However, the Thurrock forwards immediately hit back and took the game by the scruff of the neck and scored a wondereful flowing try straight from the KO. Steve Fox caught the ball from the KO and with excellent interplay amongst the forwards, drove up the pitch for second row Tony Millsom to score. Excellent defending by wings Blaine Daly and Spike Adams kept Thurrock in the game and Thurrock turned round 14 – 10 down at half time with all to play for.
Thurrock then introduced several pairs of fresh legs to the game, bringing on Jack Galley at back row, Phil Brookes at prop and debutante Oliver Harrison on the wing. Thurrock kept pressurising the Old B’s line, but failed to score tries. However, from one infringememt, centre Matt Whyman put over a penalty, giving Olb B’s a slight lead at 14 – 13. Unfortunately, Thurrock themselves transgressed at a maul and were penalised, giving old B’s an easy penalty, leaving the score at 17 – 13. Thurrock now began an all out assault on the Old B’s line, but looking like they would loose out yet again to a team much higher in the League.
From a Thurrock penalty in the Old B’s 22, the referree told all it was the last play, but Thurrock had time for the resulting 5 metre line out. Thurrock were obviously going to try to drive over from here if there was time. From this line out, Old B’s transgressed by pulling the maul down and another penalty was awarded. Quick thinking debutante scrum half Ben Gray took the quick tap penalty from 5 yards out and, with the Old B’s pack still retreating, scored a most deserved individual try, dragging 4 Old B’s players over with him. The try went unconverted, giving Thurrock the narrowest, but most deserved of wins 17 – 18.
Man of the match was back row Frank Monk, who was the main line out jumper of the day, who turned 50 the day before, (Friday) and who also won many turn over balls in the rucks and mauls.