Thurrock were made to fight all the way in this tense encounter as Canvey were close in pulling off a cup upset in front of the vociferous fans. On a day more suited to cricket Canvey started off the brighter but did not have the ammunition to make it pay. Thurrock however took their first chance of the game and put together more than three phases created the overlap for Ben Stanley to go over, Aaron Burns missed the conversion.
However the home side bounced straight back and managed an unconverted try within two minutes of conceding. Thurrock were being dragged down by indiscipline and Stefan North was seen pulling back an opponent, he received 10 minutes with a yellow card, and Canvey took the lead with a well taken penalty, which was the score at half time.
The game was in the balance again at the start of the second half but Thurrock quickly regained their lead a fantastic break from player of the year Darryl Worster gave a perfectly timed pass to Nat Farrell to score in the corner, to score an unconverted try to lead 10-8. Canvey again came back and scored again from a forward catch and drive from a line out to lead 13-10.
The game was nip and tuck until the last quarter when the match was finally settled, Ian Rudgely scored under the posts, which gave Aaron Burns the easiest of conversion’s to regain the lead. Quickly afterwards he added two penalties to take the game away from Canvey, but the last 10 minutes North’s fellow prop Billy Smith was sent to the bin for offside, which allowed on Jamie Lowe a further 10 minutes on his debut at 1st team level, and the 19 year old comfortably held his own which augers well for the future.
Thurrock now face a semi-final at Basildon, which should be 1st May, but county commitments may mean it could be played this Saturday, please check the club on Thursday for confirmation.
Team Darryl Worster, Sam Porter, , Ben Stanley, Earl Gorman, Nathan Farrell, Ian Rudgely, Aaron Burns, Stefan North, Dan Carey, Billy Smith, Aaron Woodward, Andy Kettleton, Luke Crowhurst, Ben Timson, Bradleigh Rettigan Rep: Dritan Loka, Jamie Lowe, James Reid, Neil Wakefield