Saturday, April 20, 2024

Rugby: Close but no joy for Thurrock

Thurrock 8 v 10 Westcombe Park

AFTER a few weeks of heavy rain Thurrock were able to play on the 1st XV pitch, albeit heavy but certainly playable. And a brisk start from the home side saw Thurrock score a try as early as the fourth minute when Mark Sullivan was given space wide out, Frankie Neale missed with the conversion. However and Combe closed the gap with a penalty from fly Iain Gordon a few minutes later.

Despite plenty of effort neither side looked likely to break a deadlock that saw two sides tied down by their own inertia, but then at the 20 minute mark the referee amazingly red carded Thurrock back row for a tackle that may have deserved a yellow but certainly not his marching orders. With only 14 men for an hour Thurrock now had a hill to climb. Kick’s from hand were very impressive from both sides but could not fashion any further scores until late in the first half that Jake Barrand extended the gap to five with his first successful kick, to give Thurrock an 8—3 lead at half-time.

But time leaked away with more territory and possession for visitors but they still lacked penetration to take it the distance.Only ten minutes remained when Combe, following a lengthy spell of pressure in Thurrocks 22, at last crossed the line with a scrappy affair that Tim Kavanagh, again, was the beneficiary.

With the score now locked at 8—8 the kick for the conversion assumed huge importance on an afternoon when the kicking of set pieces had not been the highlight, Iain Gordan held his nerve well, and calmly slotted the kick for the visitors to take the lead for the first time in the game.

Shortly after Combe had taken the lead for the first time Thurrock again exerting pressure were rewarded with a penalty in the ruck,and sustained a yellow card as a result, so the teams were numericaly level for the first time in 55 minutes so Thurrock had 5 minutes of sustained before the final whistle but it was not to be.

Team Barrand, Farrell Gorman, Meek, Sullivan, Neale, Tiiterton, Brunger, Hulse, Bevans-Royston, Loka, Banks, Flavin, Cooper-Hicks, Retigan: Rep Skelton, Crowhurst,Carey Thurrock are at HOME to Bury St Edmunds Kick Off is 3pm

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