Saturday, July 13, 2024

Rugby: Agonisingly close for Thurrock

SSE NATIONAL 3 (LSE) HERTFORD 22 v 20 THURROCK

THURROCK slumped to their second defeat at the hands of a very keen Hertford side Thurrock was strengthened by ex London Scottish and England age group second row Ben Thomas. The playing conditions were almost perfect except for a breeze blowing directly across the pitch, making any attempts at goal a bit more challenging. From the start of the match the Hertford pack asserted their dominance at scrum time, regularly turning the opposition put in.

Although it was the away side who took the lead via the boot of Frankie Neale who struck a penalty through the uprights after Hertford were penalised at a ruck. The Hoe Lane side were awarded a penalty the Thurrock scrum half strayed offside. Macpherson-Smith kicked the ball deep into the oppositions 22 for a lineout. Hertford mauled the ball up to the five metre line from the line out where they were awarded another penalty. This time choosing a scrum, Torran MacDougall dived over the line to score wide out. Ten minutes later after some sustained pressure and resilient Hertford defence, Thurrock won a lineout in Hertford’s 22.

The ball was won in the middle of the line and the Thurrock pack rumbled forward over the try line with prop Stefan North emerging from the bottom of the maul having scored a try, Neale’s kick just going wide. Thurrock then had a disastrous couple of minute’s first centre Michael Stanley was sent to the sin bin on 28 minutes Hertford took advantage of the extra man, Macpherson-Smith who levelled the scores with a penalty from the Thurrock 22. Minutes later Thurrock was reduced to 13 men when Ben Thomas put in a thunderous was adjudged to tackle a player off the ball, they also lost their captain Reece Durrance with a rib injury,.

Now with a two man advantage Hertford won a lineout in the opposition 22. Following a couple of phases Macpherson-Smith scored Hertford’s second try he also converted his own try, increasing Hertford’s lead to seven at half time at 15-8 The second half started in frenetic fashion with both teams looking to find holes in defence Macpherson-Smith cut a fantastic line to break through the Thurrock defence, drawing the fullback he popped the ball inside to Ed Moss to score the home side’s third try of the game. Macpherson-Smith kicked the conversion through middle of the posts to extend the lead.

Hertford were very fortunate to keep Thurrock at bay after Neale missed a two penalty chances within the space of five minutes. With ten minutes to go Hertford were reduced to 14 players when Stuart Smart was sent to the sin bin. The home side managed to clear to ball from their own try line only for Thurrock’s Michael Stanley to ghost through the Hertford defensive line, to score Thurrock’s second try. Once again, Neale missed the opportunity to add the extras. With just seconds to go Thurrock won a penalty on the Hertford 22. They worked the ball to the right where Markus Burcham scored untouched in the corner. Stanley kicked the conversion and the referee blew for full time.

TEAM: Neale, Boshell, Burcham, Stanley, Hardy, Rudgeley, Cook, North, Durrance, Bevans-Royston, Pearce, Thomas, Cooper-Hicks, Timson, Retigan

Rep Rate, Flavin, Bedding

This Saturday Thurrock entertain WESTCOMBE PARK kick off at OAKFIELD is 3pm,

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