Crediton 28 Thornbury 24

Thornbury lost for the second time this season as Crediton scored a try eight minutes into stoppage-time to snatch a win, writes Dave Fox.

The pace, fluidity and accuracy of the Thornbury backs that had been the dominant attacking weapon in recent games was strangely missing. And although scoring opportunities were created Thornbury mistakes along with Crediton’s defence prevented several tries being scored.

Crediton started the match on top and went ahead with a second minute converted try from a well-executed driving lineout. Thorns missed a penalty shot at goal and Harry Glew had a fine run down the wing but Crediton were able to clear.

Thorns opened their account with the try of the match. They moved the ball from a scrum in their ‘22’ and simple passing put Alfie Richardson in space. He had far too much pace for the Crediton defence and hared up the touchline and touched down behind the posts. Bob Adams converted to tie the scores, then kicked a penalty for a 10-7 lead.

That was extended a few minutes later when Thornbury attacked from a lineout and Jack Pinker kicked the ball over the advancing defence, regathered it before it was recycled for Jack Hussey to score. Adams added the extras for 17-7. But any thoughts that Thorns were on their way were dashed when the Crediton scrum shunted Thornbury’s back over their line for a converted try.

Thornbury had time to attack before the break. They secured a lineout and attacked through the middle, created space out wide where two Thornbury backs were lined up with nobody in front of them close to the line but the ball was knocked on and a certain try lost. Thornbury went into the interval leading 17-14.

The second half was even with both sides cancelling each other out. Thornbury hands let them down twice as half chances were lost early on, but much of the game was now being played in the Thornbury ‘22’. Eventually Thorns took play to the Crediton line but the home defence was water-tight. Richardson set off on another run from deep at pace but handling errors inside denied Thorns another chance.

With five minutes of normal time remaining Crediton went ahead after relentless pressure on the Thornbury line. Thornbury hit back when the forwards picked and drove for the line and Jim Massey scored the try. Adams converted to put Thornbury 24-21 ahead as the clock registered eighty minutes.

Crediton restarted and Thorns allowed the ball to roll into touch deep in their ‘22’. It was another crucial mistake. Crediton applied pressure and after pounding Thorns’ line the ball was eventually moved to the right where the centre scored. The conversion heralded the final whistle with Crediton winning 28-24.

Thornbury could have won this match, maybe should have won the match but ultimately were not good enough on the day to do so. Thornbury’s pack was good in the loose but struggled at times in the scrum. The backs didn’t seem to get out of third gear although when they showed glimpses of what they could do things were suddenly electric.

Thornbury scorers: tries –Richardson, Hussey, Massey; conversions –Adams (3); penalty –Adams.

Thornbury will be tested again this Saturday with North Petherton at Rockhampton Road, 3pm.