Thurrock were top of the League as they took on the mighty Upper Clapton and came closer than the score shows to staying there.
Both sides started well, using the full width of the pitch. It was Clapton that opened the scoring by crossing the line under the posts after several missed tackles. It was these missed tackles that were eventually to be Thurrock’s downfall! Thurrock hit back virtually immediately. After some good forwards surges, Tony Wilkins took the ball on at pace, burst through the defence and scored under the posts. Callow converted. Clapton’s big forwards now came more and more into the game and, coupled with missed tackles and good lines of running and support, Clapton scored 2 more converted tries. During the first half there was some admirable tackling done by the back row of Keefe, Gard and Henderson, which were keeping Clapton at bay. Half time saw Thurrock 7 Upper Clapton 21. There was every hope for a recovery in the second half though.
Thurrock began well in the second half and were very close to scoring on several occasions, but the wrong options were chosen, or the ball was spilled. The Thurrock pack were under considerable pressure, but were battling bravely, ably led by Tony Millsom, captain for the day. It was against the run of play that Clapton gained a soft, converted interception try. Even though the winning of the game was now all but of out of sight, replacements were made in attempt to, and welcome returns were made by Juggy Johal, Ralphie Davies and Steve Fox. One of the last moves of the game was when the Clapton full back took the ball at pace close to the Thurrock line and went over in the corner. If Thurrock had won some more ball in the forwards and had more self belief the final score may have been closer.
Thurrock are away to Ilford Wanderers 3rd team next week.