South West One West: Cullompton 20 Thornbury 3
9:58am Thursday 12th September 2013 in Sport
BATTLING Thornbury conceded tries at the beginning and end of the match as they slumped to a disappointing defeat at Cullompton, writes Dave Fox.
Despite being short of several first-choice players Thorns remained in the game until the last minutes, but were unable to turn possession into points.
Cullompton opened the scoring with a fourth-minute try following a missed tackle in midfield to touch down wide out. The try was converted and a penalty shortly afterwards put Thorns 10-0 behind.
However, Thornbury began to get into the game. They forced errors from the Cullompton backs and got on top in the tight, but the ball was untidy and slow, and the defence denied the three-quarters the time or space in which to build moves. When the heavens opened and torrential rain hammered down handling became increasingly difficult.
Thornbury opted not to go for goal from two kickable penalties but they didn’t threaten from their attacking scrums and lineouts. As the match approached halftime Tim Stephens missed a penalty.
Cullompton went further ahead with another penalty eight minutes into the second half. The third quarter was close with Cullompton enjoying most of the territory and possession but the Thornbury defence was more than capable of snuffing out their moves. As the match went into the final quarter Thornbury reshuffled their backs. Dan Hussey, now on the wing, made a good break down the right and Stephens kicked a simple penalty to reduce the deficit to 13-3.
With time running out Thornbury desperately tried to salvage something from the game, knowing a single score would give them a losing bonus point. Rob Higgitt and Dan Hussey combined to take play to the Cullompton line but a cross-kick from Liam Rinn failed to find the Thornbury attackers and Cullompton were able to clear. Instead, Cullompton scored with the last move of the game. The conversion was followed by the referee’s whistle.
Thornbury can take positives from the defeat in James Wood and Jonny Heaven, who both had fine games. James Murray was impressive in the lineout against tall opposition and the scrum went well after a shaky start.
But Simon Weaver didn’t get the protection he needed and the backs struggled to get going, thus the back three saw precious little of the ball as there was a tendency to kick away possession. Luke Workman had a good game in the loose and there were several powerful charges from Jon Day.
Things don’t get easier for Thornbury, who entertain Cleve at Rockhampton this Saturday, 3pm.
Thornbury scorers: Penalty – Tim Stephens.
Comments are closed on this article.