2nd Half sees Performance of the season
By Kevin Hymas
Fitting tribute to Martin & Family
Thurrock welcomed London Cornish to Oakfield on Saturday, looking for revenge following the tight battle between the 2 sides back in November. The second consecutive home game for Ts was played in honour of former club stalwart Martin Fahey who sadly passed away in November. The game was held in front of many of his family, friends and former players who were treated to a fantastic game of rugby. If you said at half time that Thurrock would run out comfortable winners, nobody would have believed you.
The visitors started off the better and were soon in front when the Centre drew 2 men in to offload to winger Webb, who was given space and finished off the move neatly. Kimmins made the conversion despite the very windy conditions. Kimmins was soon on target again as he slotted a penalty, advantage to Cornish 10-0.
Thurrock hadn't seen alot of the ball but showed what they can do when given a chance. A trademark Tom Pool break from a lineout led to the ball being recycled with Joss Nunn breaking through the defence to dot down. Jake Barrand took on the kicking duties as Sam Stanley was carrying a dead leg and landed the conversion.
Barrand would then turn try scorer following more good work from the forwards. Tani Loka made a midfield break before being brought down outside the 22. The ball was moved along the line allowing Barrand to cut back against the defence and jink his way through to score under the posts. He converted his own try to give T's the lead for the first time.
Up to the midway point, Loka and Nunn were spoiling the Cornish line-out, but they got one right 20m from the Thurrock line and O’Leary scored from the subsequent catch and drive. Kimmins again kicked a good conversion to regain the lead at 17-14.
Their lead was short-lived however as Barrand added a penalty to draw level.
Nunn started to come to the fore more often for Ts and it was his break that led to the next try. Receiving the ball at half way, he made a 40-metre break and despite being stopped by the cover defence and his shirt almost ripped off his back, Ts remained patient and following a number of drives, Chris Shorter crashed over for a try, again converted by Barrand.
Kimmins added a penalty for Cornish and the lead was 24-20 at the break in a match well contested up to that point.
The second half showed Thurrock at their best and probably the visitors at their worst as Thurrock dominated the game with 6 unanswered tries. The first came from Niall Clifford. A Cornish scrum 5 metres from their own line was turned over by T's and the ball was quickly moved to Clifford to step through the defence to score. Barrand again converted.
Darryl Worster carried on his recent try scoring form as he finished off a training ground move from the backs that saw the ball through 4 sets of hands before putting Worster away for his 7th try in 8 games. Barrand again nudged the conversion over.
Nunn was next to score, adding his 2nd of the afternoon. A rushed Cornish attack found its way into the arms of Jake Bedding who did well to draw his opposite man and offload to Nunn. The flanker still had plenty to do as he turned on the afterburners, weaved in and out to leave the covering defender clutching at thin air before finishing under the posts to give Barrand another easy conversion.
Barrand was next to grab his 2nd try as he finished another flowing backs move following a neat offload by opposite wing, Dan Stone. This time, Barrand was unlucky with the conversion attempt.
T's still had time for 2 more scores, the first of which came from Niall Clifford. Ts 3rd player to score a brace of tries in the game. A Cornish attack from deep was picked off by Clifford as he intercepted a wide pass from Kimmins to score. Barrand quickly found his kicking boots again, adding the extras.
The rout was finished off in the last minute as Tom Pool broke through off a quick lineout move to bring the score to 62-20. Barrand again added the extras to bring his personal tally to 29 for the game but also bring his Ts career total to a staggering 900 points.
The result was built on a great defensive performance against a hard-running Cornish side and gave T’s a fourth consecutive win and keep them in 5th place in London 1 South.
Captains Charlie Russo and Reece Durrance presented Martin’s grandson Reuben with the match ball after the game, a fitting end to an emotional day.
There is a break this week with league action returning on 23rd March when T’s travel to Chobham