Thornbury 37

Teignmouth 19

Thornbury ran Teignmouth ragged to ensure they remain in the league for next season and in doing so relegated their Devonian, writes Dave Fox.

Thorns never let Teignmouth settle and ran in six tries as the backs cut loose but the forwards needed to front up against a lumpy and determined eight and were outstanding.

Thornbury kicked-off and immediately set about moving the ball at pace and went ahead on five minutes. They won a lineout outside the Teignmouth ‘22’ and after the ball was taken up in midfield it was moved to the right where Louis Osborne slipped out of a tackle, drew the cover and passed inside to Jim Massey who scored out wide. Jake Wood’s conversion hit the post.

After defending on their line Alfie Richardson and Sam Poustie combined to take play to the Teignmouth ‘22’ where Gez Asante forced Teignmouth to concede a five metre scrum. Thorns drove before Massey crashed over for his second try. Wood’s conversion hit the other post then Thorns nearly scored again a minute later when they intercepted a pass only for the scoring pass to be intercepted back and cleared.

Teignmouth escaped defensive duties and scored a converted try but Wood added a penalty before Thorns extended their lead further when Wood latched on to a telegraphed pass and raced clear to score between the posts. He converted his try. Shortly afterwards Thorns butchered another attack with the Teignmouth line at their mercy. The half-time whistle came with Thornbury leading 20-7. They could have been out of sight.

Shortly after Teignmouth had started the second half they were lucky to still have fifteen players on the field after Richardson was tip-tackled, but Richardson scored the fourth try and earned a bonus point a few minutes later. A move straight from the lineout saw Wood break outside his opponent and put Matthews clear. He passed to Richardson who ran in for the try. For the third time Wood’s conversion hit the post. But Teignmouth were not out of it and scored a second converted try. Thorns led 25-14.

Thornbury attacked from the restart. Asante won the ball and Wood ripped through again before putting Matthews clear for a fine try. Wood converted and at 32-14 Thorns had the game sewn up.

The final nail was driven into Teignmouth’s coffin when Sam Evans crashed over from a driving lineout with fifteen minutes to go. Trailing 37-14 Teignmouth secured a consolation try close to the end whilst Harry Glew went over in last play only for it to be disallowed for a forward pass. But Thorns had won 37-19.

This was a fine team performance from Thornbury, who made light of the deficiencies in the pack and played wonderful high-tempo rugby, moving the ball whenever possible. In the three-quarters everyone played well with the mercurial Jake Wood again creating opportunities which were run in by the rest of the backs, Dai Matthews celebrated his last game at home with a fine performance which included his 99th try for the first team. Up front the whole pack stepped up. Jim Massey had his best game in a Thornbury shirt and Louis Osborne covered every blade of grass.

Next Saturday Thornbury travel to Cornwall to take on second-placed Launceston.