Thurrock 34 v 0 Ilford
Thurrock IV team started the season and League programme against Ilford III team in fine style.
From the KO, Thurrock attacked repeatedly through both the forwards and backs, with out half Adams putting centres Barton and Gola Jnr. into space and who both burst through the opposition line several times, though they were not able to link up with their wings. When they did, the first try of the season was deservedly taken by right wing Blane Daly. Again, with both centres threatening and linking with back row Graham, who fed left wing, veteran Jim Hall, who duly crashed over for Thurrock’s second try.
At the change, Thurrock were well in control all round and led 10 – 0, with the line out being dictated by captain LiamWalsh and the scrum being anchored by Bridger and Driscoll. New scrum half Jack Harman was also a danger and who was always willing to take the ball on around the base of the scrum and mauls.
The second half saw Cotter replace fly half Adams. However, Ilford came out all guns blazing and it was only magnificent defence that kept them out. A notable and possibly match changing moment was when Graham and Millson contrived somehow to keep the ball up when an Ilford forward managed to burst over the Thurrock try line. Had Ilford managed to score then, the final result could have been somewhat different! Thurrock were soon back on the attack and were awarded a penalty which they decided to kick, after being under the cosh for the last 10 minutes. Cotter took the kick at goal. However, it missed, but hooker Vickers somehow caught it just to the right of the posts, with the Ilford team looking on, fed to Brookes, who went over for Thurrock’s third try. This now gave Thurrock the confidence to run every and anything from anywhere. Centre Barton then got his just desserts, by running through the entire Ilford defence, getting tackled on the line, yet crawling over for Thurrock’s fourth try, which was converted by Cotter. Thurrock’s forwards then took control and were hammering the Ilford line. However, it was from open play that second row Millsom was popped the ball at pace, broke through the Ilford defence from some 22 metres out, to score a great individual try under the posts. Cotter converted. It was the forwards’ turn again to take the ball on and, from a succession of driving mauls, new scrum half Harman finally burst over to cap a fine debut in senior League rugby with a try, with Cotter converting..
Thurrock hope to continue their winning ways next week away to Rochford.
Rochford IV 0 v 54 Thurrock IV
A lovely afternoon saw Thurrock score freely in both halves. Some excellent interlinking between both forwards and backs saw the first score come from Danny Holding on the right wing, Cotter having broken blind from an attacking ruck. Both Barton and Gola Jnr were breaking the gain line well, with Thurrock’s experienced pack really dominant both in the scrum and at the ruck and maul.
Further Thurrock scores came from Barton (2), Walsh (2) and Millsom, with Gola Jnr scoring the try of the game, which involved some of the pack and all of the backs in a free flowing move. There was also a solo effort when Cotter went in alone under the posts. Cotter also kicked a few penalties and conversions to seal a determined, but dispirited Rochford side.
Next week Thurrock IVs take on Southend V, a probable top of the table clash at this stage of the season. The free scoring Southend side will be a hard side to beat