Thurrock 20 Chichester 12
THURROCK welcomed back Chris Shorter,Dan Carey and Jake Barrand to the fold on Saturday at Oakfield and the returning triumvirate made a difference! The secure scrummaging of Shorter and Carey gave the backs a platform to exploit and Barrand’s strength and kicking prowess paid dividends.
Chichester have made a solid start to the season and were looking to consolidate their high ranking. They were well -served by Seaman and Gareth Davies at half-back. Blount was a good source of possession in the second row and full-back Tom Blewitt a reliable goal kicker.
Thurrock started with a flourish and dominated possession in the first quarter. When Chichester went offside,Barrand kicked the firstpoints from 35 metres to put Thurrock into a deserved lead This was followed by a long period of pressure when it seemed as if Thurrock would add to their lead. After a sweeping move from left to right, an overlap was created on the left and just as a score seemed inevitable,a poor pass spoiled the move and led to a momentum swing. Nevertheless,Barrand kicked a second penalty to increase the lead.
Unfortunately a poor exit gave Chichester the opportunity to get back into the game. Thurrock did well to escape when Barrand kicked clear and full-back Clifford put in a superb tackle driving Blewitt into touch. Chichester and Blewitt erre not to be denied and an offside in front of the posts was punished by Blewitt. There was relief when Barrand restored the margin and,as the second half began,Thurrock began to increase the pressure. In an almost identical move as in the first half,Thurrock had a great chance to “kill the game”but too many long passes, meant the chance went a begging! Then fly-half Kiwi Dylan Fearon set the game alight with a brilliant try from the pivot. From an innocuous looking position on the half-way line, he glided through the gap and accelerated away for a wonderful try under the posts with Barrand adding the extras.
Chichester raised their game to cause a few more problems and Blewitt kicked his third goal.
Throughout this season,just when it seemed as if the Oakfield outfit were cruising to victory,intensity has been lost and losses conceded from great positions This week though provided Thurrock with a chance to prove their mental attributes and they continued to throw everything into attack. Josh Nunn after a terrific sprint and some fine footballing skills was just denied,but then,aftet a fine passing movement,Nunn expoded onto the ball to outpace everyone for an excellent try.
This was not yet vintage Thurrock,but they wrte now striving to gain that elusive bonus point. In truth they probably left a couple of tries”out there” , but they were fighting for every inch and,on this occasion never looked susceptible to a late collapse. In fact,they kept attacking until the final whistle and,indeed,had the last chance of the game which Barrand pushed wide.
This game provided geeat relief for the home side after the recent drought and they go into a mid-season break full of optimism for the rest of the season.
the first points from 35 metres.This score was