LONDON DIV 1N
RUISLIP 26 v 34 THURROCK
Thurrock travelled to Ruislip for their final game of this memorable season. Short of several first choice regular forwards, the replacements had to step up to the mark and did, against a large home side pack. Strangely it was the backs who struggled to find their usual rhythm against a competent Ruislip side.
Things started brightly enough when early pressure was rewarded with a penalty which Frankie Neale slotted. Shortly afterwards Mike Stanley drew the Ruislip defence wide and breezed through a gap to score under the posts. Frankie Neale duly added the simplest of conversions. However a series of handling errors hampered progress and allowed the home side back into the game.
The Ruislip pack went through several rolling mauls, and despite some great defensive tackling, the tactic finally paid dividends with a try. They then took the lead when their fly half sold a dummy and glided in under the posts, prompting a veteran Thurrock Ex-Captain and back row to wryly comment, “Wing-forwards don’t take dummies”. It was duly converted and Ruislip took the lead 12-10. This was short-lived when Neale slotted another penalty, and the half was completed when a rampaging Stefan North crashed over for a try, and T’s thousandth point of the season. Again Neale converted.
The second half began with the home side No.8 being binned for tackling Brad Retigan in the air. Thurrock’s North also went with him to the ‘naughty step’ after exacting T’s revenge on the transgressor. Thurrock again exerted pressure’ and this season’s trademark try worked again, when Ian Rugely’s sublime chip over the defence was collected by Mike Stanley for his second try of the day. Again Neale converted.
Thurrock scored again when Josh Cook pushed a cheeky kick down the touchline for Sam Boshell to run onto and score in the corner. The imperious Neale again slotted the conversion from the touchline. At 34-12 the visitors again pressed the home side but an interception saw the Ruislip centre gallop 70 metres to the line. The try having been converted, Ruislip gained momentum and after a quick tap penalty scored again wide out to leave the final score 26 – 34.
The record shows the last 22 wins on the trot and final figures of:
P W D L F A Bpoints Points
26 24 1 1 1017 364 18 116
Team : Neale, Gorman , B.Stanley, M.Stanley, Boshell (Barrand 65) , Rudgely, Cook (Bedding 65), North, Durrance, Bevans-Royston, Ellis, Woodward (Yeomans 65), Farrell, Cooper-Hicks, Retigan