SSE NATIONAL 3 (LSE)
THURROCK 27 v 14 BARKING
THURROCK entertained BARKING in their first league encounter since 1994, and the bottom of the table clash was a very exciting affair in what were wet and tricky conditions.
The visitors started off the better side and Ratford converted two penalties within the first seven minutes. But slowly but surely Thurrock edged their way back into the game and made most of a fumble in the backs as Brad Retigan was able to kick through and it was winger Jake Barrand that got to the ball over the line first to touch down wide out, and it was Barrand just failed with conversion took over the kicking duties after Frankie Neale’s first penalty attempt minutes earlier went just wide but he felt a tweak in his hamstring whilst taking the kick so as a precaution he gave up the kicking duties.
The game ebbed and flowed with neither team able to add to the score sheet, and in the dying seconds of the half and were rewarded when Lewis Bruger drove over to give Thurrock the lead, Barrand missed the conversion.
The game was won by the home side in the first 10 minutes of the second half as they stormed through direct from kick off with Aston Bevans-Royston scored another forward orientated try, Barrand added the extra’s with the conversion. Minutes later Retigan picked from the base of the scrum to crash over close to posts and Barrand stretched Thurrock lead to 24-6 .
Ratford kicked another penalty to edge the visitors back into the game and then with 10 minutes to go cashed in after a string of penalties given away by the home side and from a five yard line out worked an unconverted try to come within 10 points.
But Thurrock’s nerves were eased when Barrand added a late penalty and sealed a bonus point victory. The game marked home debuts for Alex Jones at scrum half following his impact the previous week when coming on as sun at Hertford and new Australian recruit Jonathan Skelton who only arrived earlier in the week, and prop Lewis Bruger
TEAM: Neale, Farrell, Gorman, Skelton, Barrand, M.Sullivan, Jones,Bruger, Hulse, Bevans-Royston, Loka, Banks, Russo, Flavin, Rettigan.
Rep: Rate, Ellis, Worsfold
Thurrock next week have a mid season break, but the following week travel to TRING