Thurrock 48 v 8 Sudbury
Thurrock were crowned league champions after this emphatic victory over second placed rivals Sudbury at a well supported Oakfield. The home support had been expecting a tense affair, with the expectancy of a victory to win the league, also to avenge their only league loss away at Sudbury in November. Winning the toss and electing to play against a stiff bitterly cold breeze, the players had different ideas, after soaking up a spell of early Sudbury pressure which failed to make any scoring opportunities.
Thurrock began to run their way out of trouble with hard earned yards being made by both the back row and centres. They took complete control of the game and from a fine catch and drive Ben Timson went over to score wide out, minutes later a similar move on the other side of the park, this time Stefan North was the player to score. Jamie Reid went close with both efforts in difficult conditions.
Thurrock continued to press and again the forwards took the mantle of a fine drive, this time however full back Darryl Worster was on hand to score again wide out, this Reid added the conversion. It was now Thurrock at their effervescant best and from a defensive scrum close to the Sudbury posts Ben Timson intercepted a pass from the base of the scrum to score his second try of the afternoon under the posts, Earl Gorman converted to lead 24-0. Sudbury at last got onto the scoreboard with a long range penalty, but T’s bounced straight back and it was the home side playmaker fly half Ian Rudgely who jinked his way over from good ball provided by the forwards from a well won line-out, allowing him space to score, Gorman added the extra’s. The final few minutes of the first half, Thurrock seemed to take their foot of the gas, and started to give away a few penalties, just on the stroke of half time they were punished when a set move from a five yard line out gave Sudbury a try, the conversion went wide.
The second half Thurrock continued to dominate the game although Sudbury tried to change tactics and slow the game down, it turned a bit scrappy, with a player from either side going to the bin, but Thurrock stretched their when Earl Gorman stormed over to score, his conversion hit the post. Thurrock looked the more likely to score and from a line out move; Ben Timson went over for his third try of the afternoon. Earl Gorman was again on hand to finish off a fine move to score under the posts and then add the conversion.
Thurrock just could not notch any further points to take them past the 50 mark, the referees whistle blew for full time for Thurrock to record their first promotion as Champions for 19 years, celebrations began for all, the management team of coaches Mike Wilkins and Jamie Daisley, manager Kevin Hymas and Director of Rugby Dave Pavitt had reached their target of promotion with 4 games still to go.
Team Darryl Worster, James Reid ,Earl Gorman, Ben Stanley,Nathan Farrell, Ian Rudgely, Andy Eaton, Stefan North, Dan Carey, Ben Partridge, Andy Kettleton, Aaron Woodward, Rob Batho, Ben Timson, Brad Rettigan Rep: Sam Porter, Dave Stevens, Luke Crowhurst
This Week Thurrock a well earned week off, they resume league action on 20th March when they visit Chelmsford, kick off 3pm at Coronation Park