The old adage of winning and not playing well was well to the fore in this hard earned victory on a very undulating surface, not helped by new drainage laid in the summer, leaving un-grassed lines all the way down the pitch. Thurrock, losing the toss, were given advantage of the strong breeze and it was the visitors who started the brighter as Aaron Burns knocked over a well judged penalty inside four minutes.
Thurrock still probed into the home 22 and again awarded a penalty in almost the same place and Burns doubled their lead with another successful attempt. The home side mounted their first threatening attack after winning the line on a Thurrock throw but great defence see the ball spilled just 10 metres from the Thurrock line, and quick thinking and passing from the backs set Nathan Farrell free to sprint fully 80 metres to score under the posts giving Burns the easiest of conversions.
Letchworth got onto the scoreboard with a long range penalty from Howman, and broke Thurrock’s defence deep into first half injury time when Shaw went over in the corner to narrow the lead to 13-8 at the break.
An injury to full back Neil Wakefield replaced by Earl Gorman with Ben Madden reverting to full back, in the absence of skipper Darryl Worster who was attending his sister’s wedding.
The second half was all about defence, although Thurrock looked the more likely to score the final pass just failed to go to hand or adjudged forward but some good tackling and counter rucking kept the home side at bay, the number of times the game was stopped due to knocks highlighted the commitment shown by the players.
Thurrock still clinging on to their narrow lead had one more piece of brilliance up their sleeve almost like the first try. Thurrock forwards turned the ball over, quick hand’s exploited a major overlap left by the home defence committing themselves to attack and Farrell again received the ball after good straight running from Ian Rudgely, Ben Stanley and Sam Porter who timed his pass perfectly for the Thurrock winger to score his second and the match winning try under the posts, Burns added the extra points with the conversion, and were able to run down the last few minutes to record a gutsy win.
TEAM: Wakefield (Gorman 40) Farrell, Stanley, Madden, Porter, Rudgely, Burns, Partridge, Carey, Rate, Kettleton, Banks, Batho, Crowhurst, Rettigan. Rep: Keefe, Howells
This week, Thurrock entertain WESTCLIFF, which also coincides with the first VP Lunch of the season, Kick Off at Oakfield is 3.00pm