South West One West: Thornbury 8 Cleve 34
6:00pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Sport
THORNBURY’S poor start to the season continued with a comprehensive defeat to a well-drilled Cleve side that was more dynamic and clinical on the day, writes Dave Fox.
Thorns kicked off but an infringement at the start gave Cleve the initiative and opportunity to attack. Five minutes later their wing broke through and scored a converted try by the posts.
Cleve took control of the breakdown and some straight running by the backs brought the best out of the Thornbury defence. The game had been underway 15 minutes before Thornbury’s first meaningful attack. Ed Sheldon gathered the ball inside his 22 and raced up to the Cleve ten-metre line, leaving three opponents in his wake. Liam Rinn and George Maggs took play on but a cross-kick was poorly executed and easily cleared.
Midway through the first half Cleve scored again from a lineout close to the Thornbury line and went 12-0 ahead. Thornbury were under constant pressure but defended well and the home pack began to get amongst the visitors.
However, after Thorns had missed touch with a penalty kick for territory Cleve had a scrum on halfway and scored again following another missed tackle midfield. Cleve were 17-0 ahead at half time.
The Cleve pack secured the try bonus two minutes after the restart but Tim Stephens kicked a penalty a few minutes later to get Thorns’ scoreboard going. However, a further Cleve score ended the game as a contest when the forwards drove over for the fifth try and a 29-3 lead.
At the end of the third quarter Ed Sheldon scored a try for Thornbury, using pace and good handling skills to capitalise on a clever kick ahead to beat two players and score in the corner. The conversion missed but Thornbury were on top at this point. However, two clear scoring chances went begging from dropped passes. Nevertheless Thorns didn’t give up and George Maggs and Kev Rudrum were both prominent with the ball in hand.
Liam Pemberton was yellow carded for swearing at the referee and with Thorns a man down Cleve concluded the scoring when the forwards crashed over again and inflicted a heavy defeat on Thornbury by six tries to one.
This was a disappointing performance by Thornbury. Although the defence tackled well Cleve were able to capitalise on the odd missed tackle and the struggled at the breakdown where the Cleve back row ruled the roost.
Man of the match Ed Sheldon had a fine game, making several dangerous runs from loose play and some important tackles.
Thornbury are at Clevedon on Saturday, 3pm.
Thornbury scorers: Try - Ed Sheldon; Penalty - Tim Stephens.
- Thornbury seconds lost to Clifton seconds 28-10 but played some impressive rugby with a team full of young players.
On Sunday Thornbury Development defeated St Brendan’s Old Boys 31-10 in the Colts league.
- Thornbury thirds start their season this Saturday with a home game against Old Bristolians, (3pm), and the seconds are away at Matson. On Sunday Thornbury Colts are at Cotham Park.
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