T's struggle against Bishops Stortford

First published in Sport

Bishops Stortford 30

Thurrock 10

RUGBY: THURROCK fell to another defeat this weekend.

But with Southend falling into the relegation zone in National Two South, Westcliff slipping in National 3 and Rochford hitting rock bottom against Diss in London 1 North the T’s are not alone among th south Essex teams. T’s had started the game well against third placed Stortford.

But they had little to show for their early dominance and territory. And it was the home side who were first to score when winger Wayne Child touched down close to the opposition posts, the conversion wide. Coleman kicked his side further ahead and then Jono Child ran in from 30m out.

But Thurrock showed their resilience when fullback Frankie Neale’s penalty shot at goal was successful.

Stortford were proving difficult to stop and their dominance of possession was key.

With only seconds of the half remaining, their centre, Lewis Pruce received a yellow card for a team offence at a breakdown. And with no time left to go for touch, Tom Coleman went for goal from the halfway line but his kick drifted narrowly to the right of the posts to make the score 15-3 at the break.

After the restart Stortford again enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, especially when Thurrock went down to 14 men . Coleman took full advantage of a long pass from replacement scrumhalf, Sam Whiffen to throw a pinpoint flat pass to Winter who split the Thurrock defence and run in under the posts.

Coleman took the extra points to make it 22-3.

More Thurrock points came from a brilliant chip kick and recovery of the ball by Thurrock’s Mike Stanley.

He touchdown under the posts and Neale’s conversion narrowed the gap to only 12 points. Coleman bagged extra points for the home side as Thurrock were penalised for an offside offence at a ruck after 25 minutes. Stortford lifted their game again and only some tremendous last ditch defence from the visitors prevented another try. And Thurrock resorted to desperate measures to hold the opposition out. Eventually, though the visitors managed to force a legitimate turnover right on their line and fought their way back into the Stortford half. At this stage it was looking as if the home side’s efforts to secure a fourth, bonus point try were going to be frustrated.

But, as injury time was entered, an adventurous chip kick by Coleman from inside his own 22 was skilfully fielded by winger Jimmy Rea and two quick passes found Winter in space. And he was able, through a combination of a change of pace and a dummied inside pass to find enough room to crash over in the corner. Coleman’s conversion attempt went narrowly wide to leave the final score at 30-10.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Thurrock welcome Westcliff to Oakfield. The game will kick off at 3.00PM

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