Belsize Park 14 v 19 Thurrock
THURROCK held out for a plucky victory against newly-promoted Belsize Park at a rain-sodden Regent’s Park pitch on Saturday.
There was a welcome return for England Sevens star Sam Stanley and a debut for another ex William Edwards student Harry Ferguson as Thurrock set about getting their season back on track.
After a couple of early exchanges,punctuated by poor handling, Belsize went ahead after a period of pressure and some good game management by the home side.
Thurrock came storming back and after a few attacking break-downs,Thurrock were able to camp in the Belsize half. A clever dummy and break from Dylan Fearon resulted in the New Zealander putting Niall Clifford into space. Clifford,enjoying his time at full-back,burst through a would be tackler to score the all-important try. Barrand converted.
Joss Nunn,making a welcome return after injury,was now starting to cause havoc with his running ability. Breaching the opposition defence he surged through to open up a lead that Thurrock were never to lose.
At the begining of the second half,with conditions worsening, both teams stuggled for continuity,but Belsize were able to exert pressure and with some line-out difficulties for Thurrock,they got back into the march.A series of misdemeanours led to a high number of penalties and a high degree of frustration for all.
After a long period of pressure,skipper,Charlie Russo, broke out of a tackle and went on a mesmerising run. After side-stepping his way downfield,he passed inside to Josd Nunn who accelerated into the corner only to be halted by a fine cover tackle. Not to be denied,the tireless Sam Reilly was in support to earn an excellent touch-down.
With Thurrock searching for a bonus point,it looked as if Sam Stanley’s deft grubber kick would see Phill Ellis score, but still Belsize fought back. After yet another driving maul,Thurrock were penalised and Charlie Russo was “sent to the bin” ! Belsize drove over to pick up a bonus point.
In many ways this was a disappointing game for Thurrock in terms of performance,but they have developed real pride and will be satisfied to take the points. With some more players returning from injury this week,they will hope to continue this upward trajectory.
Team – Clifford, Holloway, Fearon, Gorman, Barrand, S Stanley, Bedding, Carey, Ulph, Shorter, Wileman, Loka, Reilly, Nunn, C Russo. Subs – Ferguson, Cross, P Ellis