Sunday, December 4, 2022

Rugby: Comeback kings Thurrock



THAT old footballing cliché’ ‘’a game of two halves’’ can easily describe this fantastic game, at a sun drenched Oakfield. The large crowd (in excess of 400) was treated to a fine fare of rugby aided by the fourth consecutive Saturday of dry sunny weather Jack Pearce was making his debut in the second row, and there was a reshuffle in the backs after Nat Farrell dislocated his shoulder with the last tackle of the game last week and is expecting to be missing for 6 weeks.

But no one could expect what they were about to watch as the game unfolded, Elthamians making their first ever visit to Oakfield started off much the brighter, but it was who Thurrock found themselves in front when a Josh Cook box kick was fielded by Michael Stanley, who sprinted clear to score in the corner,

Frankie Neale was wide with his conversion attempt. However that was as good as got for Thurrock as the visitors took total control of the game. It seemed everything they attempted came off and Thurrock were second best leaking four tries two from wing Renford Bennett and two from full back Tom White who also converted two of them added a penalty and a 45 metres drop goal to put the visitors ahead by 30-5 at the break.

The home crowd was silent and completely shell shocked as the two teams went to the dressing rooms little did anyone know what a turnaround was going to take place. Thurrock used their replacements as Sam Boshell, James Flavin came on just before the interval and Stefan North at the break.

They came out of the blocks like a different team, an early Neale penalty started the scoring, Thurrock at last started to believe in themselves and tries from Michael Stanley (2) and James Flavin one being converted by Neale reduced the defecit to just 5 points at 25-30, with twenty minutes still to play, Thurrock now had the initiative and plenty of time and the visitors looked around wondering how they how could we lose this after being in such a strong position, White tried to calm the nerves of the visitors with a penalty but that was their only joy in the half.

Thurrock went straight back on the offensive helped by a yellow card to a visiting player and ran in three further tries from Nick Cooper-Hicks, Bradleigh Retigan and Sam Boshell rounded off a magnificent comeback all of which was converted by Neale.

So the magnificent comeback was complete, a game that will be remembered long into the future by those who were lucky enough to witness a fantastic second half performance. A poor first half performance which will concern the management as much as the joy of the second half, lets hope all is in order for the trip to Hertford on Saturday.

TEAM: Neale, Gorman (Boshell), Burcham, Stanley, Hardy, Rudgeley, Cook, Rate (North), Durrance, Bevans-Royston, Cooper-Hicks, Pearce, Timson, Russo (Flavin), Retigan

This Saturday Thurrock travel to HERTFORD kick off at HOE LANE is 3pm, AND THE COACH LEAVES AT NOON


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