Newent 25 Thornbury 19

Thornbury recovered from a 25-0 deficit to score three late tries but it was too little too late to take the spoils against a determined Newent side. The damage was done in a fifteen-minute burst from Newent in the first half with the Forest side scoring 22 points as Thornbury temporarily lost the plot and defended poorly. Two second half tries from Alfie Richardson and an opportunist score from Chris Moseley made the score more respectable but Newent were the better side on the day.

Thorns began promisingly. The forwards carried well but the accuracy and dynamism was missing. On twelve minutes Newent attacked from distance and were awarded a scrum on the Thornbury line. They attacked to the right and scored an unconverted try. Against the run of play Newent had a 5-0 lead.

That seemed to herald a serious drop-off in Thornbury’s concentration. Newent were able to run through Thornbury’s close defence almost at will. They kicked a penalty then good passing put the wing in at the corner for a converted try.

Newent were playing the game at a much faster tempo than Thornbury and their halfbacks controlled the game. The ball was recycled quickly and the scrumhalf caused many problems. He burst away from a poorly-defended ruck on half-way and swerved through the Thornbury defence for a fine try. The conversion took the lead to 22-0.

Thornbury began to regain some composure and tighten the defence but they were annihilated at the breakdown. The Newent backrow played to the referee and slowed down Thornbury ball or prevented it being recycled. They led 22-0 at halftime.

The Newent lead was extended with an early second half penalty but Thorns were playing better, if not with the smooth rhythm and pace of recent weeks. Both sides cancelled each other out. Then as the third quarter drew to a close Chris Moseley charged down a clearing kick, regathered the ball and scored out wide. Jack Pinker converted with a fine kick.

Then with the clock running down Thorns moved the ball from a lineout drive and Alfie Richardson squeezed in at the corner. Pinker converted and Thorns trailed 25-14.

Thornbury tails were up and they were running freely and with confidence for the first time in the game. The referee had started to penalise Newent at the breakdown then from another lineout Thorns spun the ball out to the backs and Richardson bisected the centres to score. Pinker narrowly missed the conversion.

At 25-19 Thornbury had a losing bonus point but were not able to press for a win as the referee blew on exactly 80 minutes and whilst Thorns thought they had a few minutes left there was none. Newent hung on for a deserved 25-19 win.

This was one of the poorer performances of the season from Thornbury, yet in the final quarter they showed what they could do and gave Newent a fright. They comfortably won the second half but the damage was done in the middle of the first half. They never really got out of third gear and could have lost by a bigger margin than they did.

Next Saturday the Second XV are home to Lydney and the next First XV game is home to North Petherton on February 12.

Thornbury Women 7 Yeovil Ladies 22

Thornbury's Women's team put in a hugely impressive performance against Yeovil in a fully-committed friendly at Thornbury. Yeovil, who are top of a table two levels above Thornbury, brought a strong side but Thornbury's ladies were in no mood to be walked over.

Gazette Series: Sadie Giles leading a Thornbury attack against YeovilSadie Giles leading a Thornbury attack against Yeovil

Yeovil scored two tries in each half and led 12-0 at halftime but Thornbury never let their energy levels drop and Fliss Place scored a second half try, converted by Claire Brealey, which was the least they deserved.

The match was ideal preparation for their home league match with Cheltenham North on Sunday, kick off 2pm