LONDON 1 (N) THURROCK 25 v 3 LETCHWORTH
THIS top of the table clash was made even feistier when during the week preceding the game the visitors had been deducted 5pts for playing an under-age player which meant Thurrock started the day on the top of the table. As expected it was a fought encounter and Thurrock did not disappoint the large crowd with another exhibition of their new found confidence. Following a minutes silence and a perfect rendition of the last post from Rolf Jones there was only going to be one winner as the home side dominated the game from start to finish, in fact they 3 perfectly good tries disallowed with the only person not convinced was the referee, otherwise the score would have been even more emphatic.
Mike Stanley calmed any early nerves with a well struck penalty as the home side continued to press and with Letchworth down to 14 men Thurrock exploited the space when recalled Earl Gorman scored in the corner, Stanley added the conversion from the touchline. Thurrock forwards continued to put Letchworth on the back foot and the pressure again told as they conceded a further penalty, which Stanley gratefully accepted to stretch the lead to 13-0 at the break.
With a very capable first half performance behind them the home side new a good start to the half to keep up the momentum was important, and within five minutes of the restart a series of forward surges gave the chance for a cross kick that gave Earl Gorman the chance to field the ball and crash over for second of the game, the resultant conversion was just wide. Letchworth then had a spell in which they showed why they have had a good start to the season, and it young scrum half Hughes who then got the visitors on the scoreboard with a penalty, it missed a second one shortly after but then a moment of brilliance capped a good afternoon for Oakfield regulars, an energetic break from defence saw Nat Farrell get the ball with more than 50 metres to go, he skipped round the defence and outpaced the cover to score a magnificent individual try, Stanley with the conversion added the extras. However the bonus point for the 4th try was not to be had, rueing the 3 not given before the break, and now Thurrock find themselves a point off the top after Colchester defeated Colfeians in a bonus point win. Scrum half Josh Cook scooped the man of the match award for a fine all round performance.
TEAM: Worster. Gorman, B.Stanley, M.Stanley, Farrell, Rudgeley (Sullivan 78m), Cook, North, S.Rate, Bevans-Royston (C.Rate 65m), Cooper-Hicks, Kyle Tucker, Garth Tucker, Timson (Banks 78m), Rettigan
Saturday Thurrock make the short journey to CHINGFORD kick off will be 2.15