Bridgwater & Albion 20 Thornbury 33

South West 1 West

Thornbury began their league campaign with an impressive maximum points win at Bridgwater by capitalising on mistakes with ruthless efficiency, writes Dave Fox.

Jak Evans and Alfie Richardson both scored a first half brace of tries as Thorns earned the try bonus point before half-time in a rare win at Bridgwater.

Thornbury kicked off and played with pace and confidence. After ten minutes Thorns went for a driving lineout on the home line. After initially being repelled the backs joined the maul and Evans was driven over for the score. Bob Adams converted for a 7-0 lead.

Thorns had dominated the first quarter but as the second began Bridgwater opened their account with a penalty. But Thorns scored shortly afterwards. Pressure on the Bridgwater attack forced a handling error and Sam Evans broke clear and fed Adams. He and Jim Massey made ground then Richardson and Jack Pinker tied up the defence and Richardson dived over for the try. Adams added the extras for 14-3.

Bridgwater restarted but were soon back in their ‘22’. They tried to run clear but poor handling in the face of aggressive defence presented Thorns with the ball. Richardson was close to scoring again but passed to Jak Evans who dived over for his second try. A third conversion from Adams put Thornbury 21-3 ahead.

Three minutes later Thorns had the try bonus point. In a mirror of the previous try a Bridgwater knock on was gathered by Massey and the ball was quickly moved to Richardson who rounded the defence and scored in the corner. A fine conversion from Adams saw Thornbury lead 28-3. Bridgwater scored a second penalty on the stroke of half time and Thornbury led 28-6 at the break.

Fears that Bridgwater would respond to a half-time barracking from their coaches were justified as the second half began with increased urgency from the Somerset club and they scored a converted try after five minutes. They piled on pressure and Thornbury began making mistakes. The third quarter ended with no further score but with Bridgwater in control. With ten minutes remaining Bridgwater scored a second converted try and at 28-20 Thornbury followers became nervous.

With time running out Glew and Jak Evans put Richardson clear but a but he was tackled into touch at the corner. Bridgwater made a mess of the ensuing lineout and Sam Evans gathered the ball and scored the crucial try. The conversion missed but leading 33-20 Thorns had the game won. There was time for the restart but seconds later the referee blew for the end of the match.

This was a fine win. The pace and width Thorns gave to the ball early on caused Bridgwater problems whilst the defence pressurised them into errors from which Thorns profited. In the second half the defence had to be sound and although the first line was broken on occasions the organisation of the cover was excellent. The lineout went well and the scrum was a success for Thorns’ young pack.

Next Saturday Thornbury are at home for the first time this season and play Lydney, kick off 3:00.

Thornbury scorers: tries – Jak Evans (2), Richardson (2), Sam Evans; conversions – Adams (4)