LEAGUE LEADERS PREVAIL
2 late tries flatters the hosts
After a three week break for the festive period, Thurrock travelled to league leaders Medway on Saturday. When the two sides met back in September, Medway edged a closely fought game. Since then, Thurrock have languished at the wrong end of the table but have always remained competitive and hit top form just before Christmas scoring 78 points against Gravesend.
Thurrock were unable to get their game going apart from small phases but ensured Medway were made to work hard for victory and were very relieved when they scored their fourth, bonus point try in the very last play of the game. Medway had edged the first half leading by 10 – 0, but went on to dominate proceedings in the second half but undoubtedly the score flatters the home side.
On a cold, gloomy, dank January afternoon and after such a long break, both teams made an error strewn start with neither side able to dominate. Medway played with the wind advantage and regularly used this to good effect to push Thurrock back up the field. After 11 minutes and some good approach play, the home team had the opportunity to take the lead with a penalty but the kick drifted wide of the posts. The score board remained blank for 25 minutes until Thurrock knocked on close to their line. From the resultant set of scrums, an excellent drive by the home pack allowed No. 8 Humphrey to touch down for the opening try. Harvey kicked over the extras and 3 minutes later extended the lead with an easy penalty kick, 10 – 0 to Medway.
Thurrock enjoyed their best period of the game just before half time and only excellent defence kept them at bay, and no doubt deserved something from this period of play.
Medway had long periods of territorial advantage in the second half as Thurrock struggled to win sufficient, quality possession to mount any meaningful attacks. Whilst Medway’s scrum was dominant, their line out coughed and spluttered all afternoon. On numerous occasions, good field position and potential scoring opportunities were squandered through inaccuracy at the line out or disrupted catch and drives. After 16 minutes, Medway did score a try when the forwards won a line out and drove deep into the Thurrock 22. The ball was released down the backs and Chalmers scored in the left hand corner, 15 – 0.
Medway kept knocking on the door until the very end. As the pressure mounted, Thurrock had a prop sent to the sin bin for persistent team penalties. With 8 minutes to go Medway scored their third try from a good line out catch and drive with Beaumont getting the touch down. Then in the very final play of the game, Dance touched down in the corner. Two excellent conversions from Harvey for the third and fourth tried completed the scoring.
This week THURROCK visit CHOBHAM kick off is 2.00pm