THORNBURY conclude their Tribute South West One West league season on Saturday in South Devon where they take on Kingsbridge.
Thornbury will be looking for a good performance to sign-off with in the first visit to Kingsbridge in twenty years and are likely to field a youthful side with one eye on next season.
The Devonians, who have already been relegated, were Thornbury’s first league opponents of the season and proved an awkward team to defeat in Thornbury’s 19-10 win.
Since then they have struggled on the road but have been difficult to overcome at home. Only league champions Weston have destroyed them at High House, and they managed a 16-16 draw over runners-up Clevedon.
They have reserved their best form for the latter part of the season and have run the likes of Okehampton, Drybrook and Bridgwater close, all of which have celebrated wins over Thornbury.
But Thorns will be focussing on themselves. After a significant dip in form in late winter, Thorns’ performances have improved in their last two matches.
Thornbury played with width and confidence against Bideford in particular, and much of the dynamism missing before had been restored.
They will be looking to build on that and end the season with a maximum points haul that will ensure they remain in the top half of the table. If Thornbury achieve that and other results go their way, they could finish as high as third place.
Meanwhile, Thornbury’s Development side, made-up of seventeen and eighteen year olds, have enjoyed an outstanding season and won the Gloucestershire U-18 league and cup.
Three of that successful team, – Harry Tarling, Jake Wood and Jake Goodridge – have already played for the First XV and are likely to be in the forefront of the coaches’ minds when selecting the team.
With the experience provided by other players regaining form following injuries, Thorns backline has the potential to win the game.
But Thornbury will need to win the ball, and the Kingsbridge style is based around a bulky and powerful pack. Thorns will need to secure ball, and although the scrum has functioned well all season the organisation of the line-out needs to improve, and they must secure more turnovers than of late.
Thornbury will also include some players likely to be drawing a line under their first team careers. The team will be conscious of that and will determined to make sure they and Thornbury, end the season with a bang.