Thornbury’s poor form continued with a heavy home defeat to North Petherton writes Dave Fox.

Thorns were left empty handed despite ignored claims for a penalty try that would have earned them a try bonus point.

The extensive injury list now included skipper Sam Evans and several players were chosen out of position. Thorns applied early pressure. Alfie Richardson made a fine break but as the move progressed, a forward pass was spotted.

A few minutes later, Thornbury opened the scoring when Rich Bennett attacked from a scrum on halfway and cut a swathe through the visitors’ defence. Play was switched from left to right where Bennett scored a try out wide. The conversion hit the post.

When North Petherton’s pack did get their hands on the ball they kept it close and tight. They kicked a penalty then drove over for a converted try and a 10-5 lead.

On the rare occasions Thorns got their hands on the ball they moved it with Sam Poustie directing proceedings well.

They were called back by the referee as bad passing cost another chance.

The visitors then forced another try but late in the first half Thornbury were awarded a lineout in the visitors’ ‘22’ and a well-organised drive saw Tom Williams score. His conversion again hit the post. At half-time North Petherton led 15-10.

North Petherton applied immediate pressure from the restart and soon scored a converted try from a lineout.

Williams then charged into the North Petherton ‘22’. Poustie took a quick penalty but the referee was unhappy and called him back. A try was needed by Thornbury and from another quickly taken penalty the forwards put Johnny Heaven in at the corner for a try. Williams converted from the touchline to put Thornbury back at 22-17. But within a few minutes poor tackling let North Petherton in again.

Things got desperate for Thornbury as they tried to get the fourth try that but Petherton capitalised and scored two further tries.

In stoppage time, Thorns drove a lineout ten metres but when close to the line it was illegally halted. The referee awarded a penalty but refused to award a penalty try. Thorns failed to win a final lineout and the final whistle blew and Thornbury were aggrieved to be denied a bonus point.