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High flying Thurrock RFC are pegged back by Hertford
5:00am Thursday 4th October 2012 in Sport
RUGBY: THURROCK slumped to their second defeat at the hands of a keen Hertford outfit. And this was despite the fact that Thurrock was strengthened by ex London Scottish and England age group second row Ben Thomas. The National 3 League playing conditions were almost perfect except for a breeze blowing directly across the pitch.
This breeze made attempts to slot between the posts more challenging.
From the start of the match the Hertford pack asserted their dominance at scrum time, regularly turning the opposition put in. The away side took the lead via the boot of Frankie Neale. He struck a penalty through the uprights after Hertford were penalised at a ruck.
Butd the Hoe Lane side were awarded a penalty when the Thurrock scrum half strayed offside. Macpherson-Smith kicked the ball deep into the oppositions 22 for a lineout. Hertford mauled the ball up to the five metre line from the line out where they were awarded another penalty. And Torran MacDougall dived over the line to score wide out.
Ten minutes later Thurrock won a lineout in Hertford’s 22. The ball was won in the middle of the line.
And the Thurrock pack rumbled forward over the try line with prop Stefan North emerging from the bottom of the maul having scored an unconverted.
Thurrock then had a disastrous couple of minutes.
First, T’s centre Michael Stanley was sin binned on 28 minutes.
Hertford took advantage of the extra man, scoring with a penalty from the Thurrock 22. Minutes later Thurrock was reduced to 13 men when Ben Thomas was adjudged to have tackled a player off the ball.
They also lost their captain Reece Durrance with a rib injury. Now with a two man advantage Hertford won a lineout in the opposition 22. Following a couple of phases Macpherson-Smith scored Hertford’s second try. He also converted his own try, increasing Hertford’s lead to seven at half time at 15-8.
The second half started in frenetic fashion. Both teams were looking to find holes in defence.
Macpherson-Smith cut a fantastic line to break through the Thurrock defence, drawing the fullback into play. And he then popped the ball inside to Ed Moss to score the home side’s third try of the game. Macpherson-Smith kicked the conversion through middle of the posts to extend the lead. Hertford were very fortunate to keep Thurrock at bay after Neale missed a two penalty chances within the space of five minutes. And with ten minutes to go Hertford were reduced to 14 players when Stuart Smart was sent to the sin bin. The home side managed to clear to ball from their own try line only for Thurrock’s Michael Stanley to grab the ball. He ghosted through the Hertford defensive line to score Thurrock’s second try. Once again, Neale missed the opportunity to add the extra points. With just seconds to go Thurrock won a penalty on the Hertford 22. They worked the ball to the right where Markus Burcham scored untouched in the corner. Stanley kicked the conversion and the referee blew for full time. l Thurrock: Neale, Boshell, Burcham, Stanley, Hardy, Rudgeley, Cook, North, Durrance, Bevans-Royston, Pearce, Thomas, Cooper-Hicks, Timson, Retigan, Rate, Flavin, Bedding. l Tomorrow (Saturday) Thurrock’s first string entertain Westcombe Park at Oakfield with the kick off at 3pm.