Rugby: Thurrock 26 v 13 Stevenage

LOWLY Stevenage visited Oakfield for their first ever visit and despite a valiant effort left empty handed in what can only be described as atrocious conditions, with persistent heavy rain making the pitch very slippery on top of normally good pitch.

Thurrock started the game well and despite the conditions looked to move the ball about, with young scrum half Jake Bedding joined by two other youngsters making the debuts in second row Jordan Thorne and wing Jake Barrand, they were keen to use their pace count. The early pressure told as Earl Gorman crashed over for a try neat the posts, and gave Barrand a simple conversion to lead 7-0. But any thoughts

Stevenage were just there to make up the numbers were soon dismissed as the visitors No8 Pearson exploited a gap in the Thurrock defence to go over for a try, and Malins added the conversion to level the scores. It was hard work for both sides but Thurrock just had the edge and good back move using the blind side gave Darryl Worster the chance to score, this time playing in his preferred position of full back, Barrand then added the conversion for a lead 14-7 which lasted to half time.

Thurrock again started the second half brighter, and when Ian Rudgeley chipped the ball behind the defence Worster had the pace to touch the ball down to extend their lead, the conversion just falling wide. Again Stevenage refused to lay down and a spirited spell put the home side on the back foot and a string of penalties gave Malin the chance to close the gap has he was successful with two kickable penalties to come within 6 points. Young Bedding was sin binned for an over exuberant tackle, but lucky for Thurrock four minutes later Pearson had a yellow card for failing to roll away from the tackle. Thurrock were now back in the ascendancy looking for the all important 4th try for the bonus point win and Bradleigh Rettigan came up with the try with four minutes to go and Barrand added the conversion to give Thurrock a hard earned victory that still keeps them in the hunt for the play-off place albeit an outside one.

TEAM:  Worster, Barrand, Madden (McDonald 59m),Gorman,Farrell,Rudgely, Bedding, C.Rate (Stevens 40m), Murphy, Scott, Thorne, Herrington Flavin, Crowhurst, Rettigan

This week Thurrock travel to league leaders WESTCLIFF in a game re-arranged from December which was cancelled due to the cold weather. Kick Off at Aviation Way will be 2.30pm

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