Rugby: Late Higgitt try secures rare away win for Thornbury at Chard
12:04pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in Thornbury Sport
South West One West
Chard 18 Thornbury 21
AN INJURY time Rob Higgitt try earned Thornbury their first away win since January.
Sound defence and two more tries from Ed Sheldon and the boot of Tim Stephens completed a profitable afternoon for Thornbury. The win moves Thorns up two league places.
Chard started the better and drove a lineout over for the first try. The conversion missed but Chard went 8-0 ahead with a penalty.
With two players in the sin-bin, Thorns backs were to the wall as Chard tried to increase the lead, but the Thornbury defence was heroic.
Then with the match entering stoppage time at the break Thorns attacked ferociously down the right. Dai Matthews took a penalty to himself in the Chard 22 and accurate passing created space which Sheldon exploited for a try. Stephens converted and at the break Chard’s lead was only 8-7.
The third quarter was a scrappy period full of errors and stoppages. Thornbury’s accuracy was poor and some bad passing saw the ball go loose and Chard took play to the Thornbury line.
From another lineout five metres out the pack drove over for a mirror image of the first try. The conversion gave Chard a 15-7 lead.
Higgitt came on for Liam Pemberton and occupied the unfamiliar position of flanker.
With the game nearing its end a dangerous Thornbury attack had an overlap but they were called back for the referee to send off a Chard prop for referee abuse.
Despite the frustration Thornbury's tails were up. From second phase, Matthews created a gap and Higgitt took the ball on. Dan Hussey kicked deftly behind the defence and Sheldon won the race to the ball for the try. Stephens converted and Thorns were within a point at 15-14.
Chard restarted and Thornbury kicked clear but badly allowing Chard to score a drop goal.
But Thornbury wanted more than the losing bonus point.
Once more Matthews made a half break with Higgitt in support. Higgitt burst out of a tackle and raced clear. He was tackled on the line but grounded the ball for the try, which Stephens converted for a fine win.
The commitment of the Thornbury players was of the highest order. The defence was excellent and although they struggled with the Chard rolling maul they were able to snuff out any back moves.
The passing was not as accurate as of late but Matthews had a fine game and Sheldon again had the pace and running lines to bamboozle defences and continued his fine form with two more tries.
The influence of Higgitt was significant and he showed great determination to score his try.
With results going Thornbury’s way they moved up to tenth in the table.
This Saturday Thorns are home to Sidmouth in a must-win game.
Thornbury scorers: Tries – Ed Sheldon (2), Rob Higgitt; Conversions – Tim Stephens (3)
Thornbury’s second and third team were due to combine to play Old Centralians but the match was cancelled as there wasn’t a referee available to officiate the game.
This Saturday Thornbury seconds are home to Dings Crusaders seconds whilst the thirds are home to Clifton. On Sunday the Colts are away to unbeaten Keynsham.
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