Tribute South West One West

Thornbury 22 Launceston 28

THORNBURY failed to turn their dominance into victory over the title favourites in an entertaining but frustratingly error-strewn game.

They out-scored their opponents on tries but for the second successive game Thorns secured only try and losing bonus points from a game they should have won.

Thornbury immediately took play deep into the Launceston ‘22’. The set-piece didn’t start well and some handling errors meant that three early chances to score came to nothing.

With ten minutes gon,e Launceston went ahead when a missed tackle allowed the fullback through and he scored a try which he converted for a 7-0 lead.

Undaunted, Thornbury surged back into the Visitors’ ‘22’ and were again close to scoring. After several minutes defending Launceston made a complete hash of a lineout on their line and Luke Panting gratefully dived over for an unconverted try.

Launceston kicked a penalty then close to the half-hour Thornbury took the lead. Thornbury drove from a lineout and James Wood touched down. Bob Adams converted to put Thorns ahead but the lead lasted only two minutes as the Launceston outside centre scored a try.

Late in the half Thornbury carved up the visitors defence as James Wood and Jak Evans made good ground before the ball was moved towards George Maggs unmarked ten metres from the line but the Launceston winger intercepted to save a certain try.

He raced upfield but was caught by Alfie Richardson who in turn saved a try. Launceston kicked a late penalty for an 18-12 half-time lead.

Thornbury had dominated territory and possession but it was Launceston who had the points.

Within ninety seconds of the restart of the game Thornbury had scored again. From a lineout the ball was moved into midfield and Evans made a fine break, linked with Rob Higgitt and Rich Bennett scored a fine try in the corner.

Adams’ conversion hit the post but Thorns were back to within a point at 18-17.

Two minutes later they regained the lead. Pressure forced a handling error from Launceston on the Thornbury ten metre line.

Bennett raced clear but was brought down five metres short. Evans drove, was tackled just short but Jack Hussey collected the recycled ball and dived over for the bonus point try and the lead.

Again the unfortunate Adams saw his conversion rebound off the post. Thornbury led 22-18.

With the Thornbury scrum now on top another score would surely be enough to secure the win.

But with Launceston getting away with murder at the breakdown the visitors scored a third try then a penalty and as the match went into the last quarter it was anybody’s game with Launceston leading 28-22.

The final quarter was frantic. Thornbury attacked at every opportunity. With four minutes remaining James Portch and Alfie Richardson linked in a move down the left but were called back when clear for a questionable forward pass. Despite constant pressure they couldn’t score and Launceston survived.

There were periods of the game when Thornbury were outstanding. Rich Bennett had a fine game in defence and attack.

James Wood carried well and Jak Evans is getting to grips with his new position and had an eye-catching game going forward.

However, there were too many errors made and three clear tries were lost.

On Saturday, Thornbury are at Bridgwater, kick off 3pm.

Thornbury scorers: tries –Panting, Wood, Bennett and Hussey; conversion –Adams