Winning Run Ends
By Kevin Hymas
Barrand celebrates 150 with a hat trick
Thurrock travelled to Priestfields on Saturday to play Medway on the back of 5 consecutive wins which has seen them rise up the league.
The game kicked off with Medway playing into the breeze. Both team’s intentions to play an expansive game were evident in the opening few minutes with kicking opportunities turned down for the running game. It was Medway who opened the scoring with some good phase play which saw Sharpe go over for the unconverted try, 5-0. After 7 minutes Medway were penalised at a scrum as the Thurrock front 8 showed they were up to the task of competing against the homes sides pack. Tees kicked for the corner. From the resulting lineout after 3 phases, a neat inside pass from Alex Jones put Jake Barrand, playing his 150th game in for his first try of the afternoon. Sam Stanley converted to edge ahead 7-5.
On 12 minutes Thurrock scored again, Dylan Fearon turned possession over on the half way line and the centre took full advantage breaking the defence and giving Barrand the easiest of scores, scoring wide on the left hand side. An excellent conversion from Stanley pushed the visitors lead out to 14-5.
Both teams were looking to dominate possession, but on 25 minutes, Medway were again penalised at a scrum for an early engagement. Thurrock tapped and went and after several phases and good interplay orchestrated by Stanley, they created an overlap out wide to score with Barrand scoring his 3rd try. Stanley was this time off target with the conversion attempt bringing the score to 19-5. Thurrock were playing well and looking good to maintain their recent good form. However Medway with 31 minutes on the clock created an opportunity for Orris to score an unconverted try. Medway continued to take the game to Thurrock and it was the home side who scored next, through Garratt scoring out wide. Harvey added the conversion to trail Thurrock by just 2 points. Medway retook the lead right on half time when Garofalo sniped over for a well taken try converted by Harvey and a lead of 24-19. A crazy 10 minute spell that secured the home side their bonus point and had Tees scratching their heads as they went in at half time losing a game they had been dominating in.
Thurrock made one change at half time as Jamie Impey made his 1st team debut replacing the injured Tom Wileman. Medway carried on where they left off in the second half when they increased their lead through Panikoula. Tees protested this try as it had looked as though the home side's lock was offside went taking the ball from the ruck. Harvey added the conversion and Medway led 31-19.
Thurrock knew they had to respond and they did. Consecutive penalties saw Medway kicked back to within 10 metres of their line and although they defended the initial catch and drive, Alex Jones was on hand to exploit a gap and score a sharp try. The conversion from Stanley made the score 31-26 and also secured Thurrock their try bonus point. On 58 minutes Tees Dylan Fearon was harshly sin binned for a knock on as he made a clear attempt to intercept the ball. A minute later, Medway capitalised on the sin bin as Orris added his second try converted by Harvey. 38-26 to Medway. On 63 minutes Medway increased their lead with a 30 metre penalty to lead 41-26 as the home side started to gain an advantage at scrum time.
Thurrock knew they had to throw everything in to try and snatch a second bonus point. A free kick at the line out saw them run the ball. Good work from Tom Pool allowed Brad Retigan to score a well taken try converted, again by Stanley giving the strong travelling support hope.
That hope was shortlived however as Medways Orris broke several tackles to score his Hatrick try. Harvey converted to make the score 48-33. A few minutes later a fracas saw another yellow card for Tees Captain Charlie Russo, but this time Medway’s Huntley joined him for 10 minutes. Thurrock were on the end of a technical red card for a second yellow to Dylan Fearon for another attempted interception. The scoring was completed when on the stroke of full time a Medway scrum in front of the Thurrock posts saw Thurrock collapse the scrum. Even though it was the first scrum the referee harshly awarded a penalty try and then blew for Full time to bring an end to a highly entertaining game. Thurrock can be proud of their attacking game against a team that had shut them out in last season's fixture but will know this was an opportunity missed against one of the top sides in this league. This was a good game of rugby with some quality tries from both teams but without doubt the scoreline and margin flattered the home side.
This week Thurrock are back at Oakfield when they entertain Camberley looking for revenge for the defeat they suffered earlier in the season with a 3pm kick off