Thurrock’s run of three consecutive losses came to an end when they beat Tabard in an extremely hard fought game. A below strength Thurrock, already dogged by injuries had to make several changes, some just minutes before the kickoff. 17 year old colt Jake Bedding, due to start for the first time, was concussed on Friday during training and an urgent call to Ben Timson about his sick baby meant that Lee Herrington, who was already getting changed at Campion for the 2nds, was recalled to Thurrock and arrived just five minutes before the kick-off.
Both sides played some good rugby in the early exchanges, but it was Tabard who took the lead, through Jack Reilly with a penalty. Finally, after some sustained pressure Darryl Worster, coming into the line, made a searing break. He looked to be certain to score, only to be pulled back by his collar. It may have warranted a penalty try, but somehow, he managed to offload to Sam Porter who scampered over for a try under the posts, and thus saved the referee an awkward decision. Ben Stanley converted.
Tabard came back strongly and dominated the next 20 minutes without managing to score. Strong tackling (somewhat missing last week) by T’s, and poor handling by the Tabard backs meant the score stayed at 7-3 at half time.
The second half started with both sides once again slugging it out, and the visitors enjoying the majority of the possession. This possession finally paid dividends when after several phases and some very good forward surges, Jack Reilly finished off a flowing move with an excellent try for Tabard. The conversion, missed, left the score at a delicate 7-8 with only ten minutes to go.
This seemed to stir T’s, and they bounced straight back, applying pressure in the Tabard half. Several surging drives later, an attempted drop goal looked a possibility, but the ball was moved wide quickly, and a grateful Ben Stanley jinked between two defenders to score. The conversion was missed.
This was a game where Thurrock had to graft hard for the win, and did so despite injuries and lack of possession.
TEAM: Worster, Farrell (McDonald 65), Stanley, Gorman, Porter, Madden, Breese (Burns 40m), North, Carey, Rate (Partridge 70m), Loka, Banks, Herrington, Crowhurst, Woodward
This week, Thurrock host BRENTWOOD Kick Off is 3.00 pm