Thurrock 25 v 15 North Walsham Vikings
THURROCK edged the match scoring three tries to two in a game that could have gone either way, played at high tempo by both sides for the full 80 minutes, resulting in Thurrock leapfrogging into 5th place, with the Vikings dropping to 6th.
On a bright afternoon on a good pitch the visitors struck first, with a break by full back Josh Brown setting up wing Ethan Benney for a touchdown, which Matt Hodgson couldn’t add to.
Thurrock just had the edge at the scrum but the lineouts went with throw, before indiscipline set in as the home side ramped up the pressure and Walsham began to give away penalties. Thurrock centre Jake Barrand converted two of these within 3 minutes for his side to take the lead, which they never relinquished.
Thurrock increased their lead when Andrew Nimmo crashed over for a try, converted by Barrand.
Barrand missed a further two penalty kicks before winger Troy Michie made a 35metre dash down the left for try number two, which went unconverted, to leave Thurrock 18-5 ahead at the break.
The visitors made the best possible start Mike Hendry went over for a try immediately after the restart, which Matt Hodgson converted to bring the scores to 18-12 Thurrock then twice went close through Michie and number 8 Brad Retigan.
North Walsham second row Tom Coller then received a red card for a punch off the ball, leaving the visitors with fourteen men for the final half hour of the match.
Matt Hodgson landed a well taken drop goal, and the supporters thinking it may be heading for another draw, but the players had other ideas as Michie outpaced the cover defence to score in the corner for the third try and Barrand finished the scoring with a conversion in off the right upright.
It was no doubt a hard-fought game that credit must go to both sides for an excellent 80 minutes of rugby.
Thurrock travel to SUDBURY for their penultimate game before Christmas with kick off at 3.00pm