Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Westcombe Park edge out Thurrock in scrum clash
10:55am Wednesday 10th October 2012 in Sport
Westcombe Park 23
RUGBY: THURROCK are finding life in National 3 difficult – and it did not get any easier when they hosted Westcombe Park at Oakfield on Saturday.
Thurrock were keen to shake off the narrow defeat they suffered the previous week, and the visitors were trying to get a settled side after a spate of long-term injury problems.
It was a bruising encounter in front of a good sized crowd that included a number who crossed the river from Kent in support of the Orpington- based team. The visitors made a great start. In the opening minutes a penalty kick to the posts went wide, but they soon took the lead, with a couple of pick and drives Trent Nattrass went in by the posts for the first try of the day. The kick hit the post.
From the re-start the visitors offended and Thurrock full back Frankie Neale put over the penalty to reduce the deficit to 5-3. Scrums and line-outs were not settled, but Thurrock shaded the line outs and Neale had another pot at goal – but this one fizzed wide.
Twenty minutes into the first half Westcombe Park stretched their lead from a scrum in midfield. A gap opened up for fly-half Nattrass to cruise to the posts again for his second try. Simpson added the conversion. There were mistakes from both sides who were both trying to force the game. A loose passes and knock-ons kept the ref busy. Thurrock were also guilty of spilling the ball in the tackle. But both defences were brutal and uncompromising.
In the second half the deadlock was broken when a counter attacking move from Thurrock saw centres Markus Burcham and Earl Gorman combining to find winger Sam Boshell. Full back Frankie Neale added the conversion. Thurrock’s defence had tightened up and five minutes later they should have taken the lead an attack down the right with Westcombe Park having three men down and laid out.
But what should have been a scoring pass went behind Boshell and was lost. This, perhaps, was the turning point of the game. It gave the visitors renewed confidence. Under pressure Thurrock conceded penalties – two of which Luke Giles gratefully put over. Thurrock, with little time remaining had to chase the game. And from another borough error Niki Davies went over in the corner to seal a well earned victory for the visitors. The conversion was missed but it was the last moment in the game.
Thurrock: Neale, Boshell, Burcham, Gorman, Hardy, Rudgeley, Cook, North, Keefe, Bevans-Royston, Pearce, Thomas, Cooper-Hicks, Russo, Retigan, Rep Rate, Flavin, Bedding l This Saturday Thurrock travel to Staines, kick-off 3pm, with the coach leaving at noon.
For all the borough's rugbty see Friday's THURROCK GAZETTE