BL League Plate: Thurrock 3rds 10 v 14 Romford

Thurrock’s young development side containing five colts put on an excellent performance on Saturday against a stronger than expected Romford side in the BL plate final. This Romford side bore no resemblance to the side the 3s had put 80 points on four weeks ago.

A strong wind from one end was to prove the deciding factor in this game, and Thurrock, playing with the wind, dominated possession resulting in a Tom Worsfold penalty when Romford were penalised for coming in at the side of the ruck. Further Thurrock pressure, especially some hard yard carries from T’s forwards Jack Ribbons, Dan Joyce, John Cambridge and Rob Jarvis saw an opportunity for Jimmy Ray to dive over for a well earned score, which was converted by Tom Worsfold.

Thurrock squandered further chances to score despite some fine forward play with excellent support play from James Pearce and Luke Clements, who dominated the lineout all day. At half time Thurrock’s 10-0 lead was probably a score short given the wind they were now playing against, and anytime Romford gained possession they pinned Thurrock back into their 22 with long range kicks.

A tactical half time change by 3’s manager, and Director of Rugby Dave Pavitt saw bringing on the powerful running Scott Williams for the lighter, but nevertheless excellent James Pearce. Two hard won converted tries, despite some fine Thurrock defence, gave Romford a 14-10 lead and as time ran out Thurrock made a last gasp effort to regain the lead. Key injuries to veteran fullback Martin Adcock and centre Sean Cotter
proved a blow to Thurrock and even some fine runs by James Whitfield and Jack Plom that tested the Romford defence, could not break through. The whistle went and Thurrock had run out of time.

In hindsight, Thurrock didn’t use their talented back line as much as they should have done, somewhat wasting the talents of Blaine Kidd, Pash Pehlivan and Mike Norley. Thurrock didn’t however let the loss effect their end of season celebrations, and a good time was had by all in the clubhouse in the evening, with Tom Worsfold winning the players’ player of the year award.

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