Thurrock 31 v 26 Brentwood
LOCAL derbies are always a tense affair and the game at Oakfield on Saturday was no exception, where both sides played with enterprise they both gave 100% commitment and in the process, gave supporters a match to send hearts racing.
Tom Worsfold gave Thurrock an early lead with a well taken penalty, but Brentwood bounced back and quickly scored a well worked try as Josh Stannard raced around the cover defence and scored close to the posts as fly half Chambers added the conversion. The visitors at this point were in the ascendency and following some pressure the ball was bouncing around loose in the corner, but it was the offensive player who got hold of the ball and pounced in the corner, to extend the lead to 12-3.
At this point Thurrock came back into the game and 2 more Worsfold penalties kept the home side in touch, to reach the break by trailing 12-9, but lost 2nd Row Alex Smith to an ankle injury, replaced by debutant Aaron Radley who went in the back row, with Gabe Papuni moving to lock
Brentwood also suffered a couple of injuries causing them to re-shuffle the side but it seemed to have little effect as they extended their lead when Aldous twisted through a couple of tackles to score in the corner to lead 17-9.
Thurrock were now up against it but they dug deep and started to force the visitors onto the back foot as Andrew Nimmo, Lewis Brunger, Gape Papuni, Charlie Russo and Bradleigh Retigan starting to make holes in the defence with some strong running starting to allow the backs more freedom and after good work from Trent White who had a stand out game running from deep allowed the back-line to free up Fraser Kidd to sprint round the outside to score pretty much a copybook move of the first Brentwood try as Worsfold kick the conversion to bring the game back to a single point advantage.
The restart ended in a ruck where an indiscretion by a visiting player ending him being shown a red card leaving the visitors 20 minutes to close the game out with a man down, but Thurrock took advantage of the extra man and a cross kick towards the ball corner see Troy Michie who with his pace touched down to put Thurrock in the lead for the first time since the opening minutes. But Brentwood would not give up as Thurrock made a hash of the restart and Brentwood forced play towards the Thurrock line and made room for the winger Stanier to wriggle over to re-take the lead with 6 minutes to go.
But Brentwood then made a mistake giving Worsfold a chance to land a 30m penalty which he duly did with great aplomb. Now just leading by 2 points Brentwood gained the ball and kept moving the ball close with the forwards until they held on once too often as Thurrock were awarded a penalty which was sent fully 50 metres downfield.
From the resultant line out Thurrock piled on the pressure wanting to end the game on a high, as the visitors were pinned on their own line but pressure told as Rhys Collins crashed over under the posts, Worsfold ended the game with the conversion to give Thurrock the victory, with result also counting towards the Essex Cup ¼ final.
TEAM: WHITE, FARRELL, COLLINS, WORSFOLD, MICHIE, REEVES, JONES, BRUNGER, DURRANCE, CURRIE, NIMMO, SMITH, C.RUSSO, PAPUNI, RETIGAN REP; McDOUGALL, RADLEY, KIDD
Thurrock face another local derby when they travel to ETON MANOR kick off is 2.30pm