London Cornish 32 Thurrock 17
THURROCK travelled to West London on Saturday in search of a much needed win only to come away pointless. Nevertheless,the result did not reflect the effort deployed by the Oakfield outfit as they struggled in vain to get momentum in the thick,cloying mud!
London Cornish kicked off and a good exit took Thurrock into the opposition half. Powerful running by the back-row looked promising,but a creaking scrum changed the fulcrum of the Cornish attack. A driving maul led to a first try and another soon followed in much the same manner as the tempo of the game slowed.
Just when it looked as if Thurrock were losing contact some good line-out work by Brad Retigan,Joss Nunnand Dritan Loka brought the away side back into contention. After a couple of good drives featuring Charlie Russo,Thurrock found themselves in a strong position and a superb snipe from Jake Bedding brought a deserved score which Dylan Fearon converted.
A great break-out from a refreshed Dan Stone took him beyond his opposite number and he all but gathered his own kick ahead in a first-class effort. Stone was outstanding in attack in his comeback for his first league game of the season.
As Thurrock continued to pressurise,first Phill Ellis and then Kye Holloway went close,before a “barnstorming”run from Henry Bird put Thurrock ahead for the first time by 12 points to10.
However,this was to be short-lived as ,unfortunately,the referee was unsighted as captain Charlie Russo was almost garrotted in a severely high tackle which went unpunished! To add insult to injury,Thurrock were penalised themselves in the”Red Zone” and the Cornish fly-half was unerring in his shot at goal to restore the home lead.
As Thurrock turned around having conceded one more try,Thurrock were optimistic they could fight back with the steep slope and elements in their favour. Sadly their efforts were fruitless as the heavy conditions took their toll and the Cornish pack squeezed the life out of the game. The match swung as Thurrock endured an endless cornucopia of scrums and scrum penalties as Brad Retigan worked tirelessly to dig the ball out of the quagmire.
Cornish scored a couple of additional tries as they ground down the opposition. The best came from a direct strike from their centre,captain and man of the match,Richard Trevithick.
Still Thurrock,with their “never say die”attitude and Dan Stone scored a fine individual try after accelerating down the wing and grounding his own chip ahead. This encouraged Thurrock to fight to the end and they finished strongly.
With the good news of Ben Timson’s return to “the colours” and improvements to injury victims Charlie Currie and Caolan Watts-Adams,a resurgence is not far away and we look forward to a return to early-season form.
This week Thurrock play host to Chichester at Oakfield where a home win is very much needed.