South West One West: Clevedon 28 Thornbury 28
12:09pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in Thornbury Sport
A CONVERTED Dai Matthews try with the last move of the game secured a deserved draw and gave Thornbury their first league points of the season, writes Dave Fox.
Clevedon opened the scoring with a second minute penalty. A second Clevedon penalty doubled the score after 15 minutes but five minutes later Thornbury went into the lead. Tim Stephens intercepted a Clevedon attack on halfway and linked with Rob Higgitt, who created space for Ed Sheldon to skin one defender, then cut inside the cover for a try. Stephens converted and Thorns were 7-6 ahead.
The lead lasted four minutes. Thorns made an awful hash of gathering a bouncing ball and Clevedon scored a converted try.
Thornbury looked to regain the lead when Stephens gathered a loose ball and ran in for a try but the referee disallowed the score for a mysterious knock-on and instead awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Stephens kicked Thorns back to within three points, then both sides kicked further penalties to see Clevedon 16-13 ahead at the interval.
Clevedon went further ahead with another try 54 seconds into the second-half but Thornbury dug deep and a new resolve appeared. After several purposeful attacks Stephens kicked another penalty and at 21-16 Thorns were in sight of the lead with their tails up.
Within minutes of coming on Ollie Fleming scored a try in the corner after Stuart Adams and Dai Matthews created space with quick passes. The conversion narrowly missed but the scores were tied at 21-21.
With the match in injury-time Clevedon scored a try after Thorns missed a couple of tackles. The conversion put Clevedon 28-21 ahead.
Thorns roared back with only seconds remaining. Wayne Underwood raced through a gap and after Clevedon were penalised Thorns ran the penalty. Ed Sheldon was tackled inches short but the ball was moved into midfield, where Matthews showed great determination to shrug off a double tackle and break away to score close to the posts. Stephens dealt with the pressure and converted the try for the draw.
This was a vastly improved performance from Thornbury. Next Saturday’s home game with Coney Hill is a must-win match for Thorns, kick-off 3pm.
Thornbury scorers: tries: Ed Sheldon, Ollie Fleming and Dai Matthews; conversions: Tim Stephens (2); penalties Tim Stephens (3)
- Thornbury Colts beat Cotham Park 34-20 in Division One of the GRFU South Development League. This Sunday Thornbury play Dursley at home in the first round of the National Colts Cup (1pm).
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