Rugby: Thurrock push Stoke hard

SSE NATIONAL 3 (LSE)

Thurrock 23 v 33 Basingstoke

A BELATED start to the New Year, after the deluge of rain meant the first home fixture of the year was cancelled due to the deluge the country suffered, it also meant that this weeks game was moved from the main pitch to the pitch furthest away from the clubhouse which was in good condition. Thurrock new coach David Mobbs-Smith started his tenure presiding over his new charges, but with only nine minutes gone Thurrock trailed 10-0 to a converted try and a penalty.

But a spirited home team fight back ensued with a tries from Jake Barrand quickly followed with Earl Gorman crashing over to draw the sides level, Frankie Neale just missing with both conversions. Thurrock were certainly looking the more likely but conceded a penalty which Basingstoke gratefully accepted and sneaked into the lead, but James Flavin went squirmed his way over close to the posts after some great forward momentum this team Neale added the extras to take the lead for the first time.

The lead however did not last to half time, Thurrock were reduced to 14 men when Billy Ellis was yellow carded and the visitors made most of having the extra man as they scored a converted try right on the stroke of half time, to lead at the break 20-17.

The second half did not continue in the same manner as the first it became a more turgid affair Basingstoke quickly added a converted try to extend their lead, but two Frankie Neale penalties kept Thurrock in the hunt but two late penalties took the game away from Thurrock, the later also stealing a deserved bonus point from this match

TEAM:Neale, Farrell, Skelton, Gorman, Barrand, Meek(Sillivan40m) Titterton, Brunger, Durrance, Bevans-Royston, Banks, Ellis (Loka), Crowhuest (Keefe),Flavin, Cooper-Hicks. Thurrock next week travel to GUERNSEY kick off will be 2.30PM

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