Thornbury had to battle all the way to overcome tenacious Wellington. With a try bonus point secured by half time Thorns struggled to get going after the break and allowed Wellington back into the game until a timely interception by Sam Garbett led to a try that took the wind out of Wellington’s sails. Thorns ran in four tries in the latter stages for a score that looked more comfortable than it was.

Thornbury kicked off and played at pace and gave the ball width. They stretched the visiting defence and after Jake Wood was tackled just short Luke Panting followed up and dived over for an unconverted try. Thorns scored again a few minutes later. A kick behind the Wellington defence was mishandled and Wood gathered the ball and put Mike Gaston in for the try. Jack Pinker’s conversion put Thorns 12-0 ahead.

Mike Johnson had a good run and Thorns were twice close to scoring before Wellington surged upfield and scored from a driving lineout. Thorns hit back with an Alfie Richardson special. Taking the ball in midfield he bisected the advancing defence then swerved through the next line and used his great pace to burst clear and score in the corner. The conversion missed but Thorns led 17-5. That was extended late in the half when Wellington tried to run out of defence but were turned over and Jay Burley raced in at the corner for the bonus point try. Pinker converted.

Wellington scored their second try on the stroke of halftime and the conversion saw Thorns 24-12 ahead at the interval. Wellington scored again early in the second half and dominated the third quarter. It was backs to the wall for Thorns then Wellington attacked deep in the home ‘22’ but a long pass was intercepted by Sam Garbett, who raced the length of the field for the try. Pinker converted to extend the lead to 31-19. It was a crucial moment as Wellington could have taken the lead and that may have given them the momentum to win the game. Instead, Garbett’s try ensured that momentum returned to Thornbury.

Thorns regained their mojo and a few minutes later Jak Evans burst through on halfway and put Sam Butcher clear. Then Pinker and Wood carried on the move and Burley blasted his way through the last defenders to score Thorns’ sixth try. Pinker added the extras for a 38-19 lead.

Wellington secured the bonus point try shortly afterwards but any hopes that they could earn a losing bonus point were dashed when Wood scored Thornbury’s seventh try after Evans took a quick penalty and the centre stepped inside the cover to score.

Then in injury time Thorns attacked close to the line and a long pass from Pinker found Panting unmarked and he touched down for the final try. Pinker’s conversion made it 50-26.

This was a satisfying win, and being able to extricate themselves from a difficult position in the third quarter will be beneficial for all. The Thornbury tries were all well-taken with Richardson’s the pick of the bunch while Garbett’s was perhaps the most important. Man of the match was awarded to Luke Panting for a fine game in the loose, two tries and a solid performance in the scrum.

The weekend also saw the celebration of the rugby career of Jonathan Pullin.

of Jon Pullin with the tankard presented to him on having played 600 senior games for the club

of Jon Pullin with the tankard presented to him on having played 600 senior games for the club

Jon, son of former England captain John Pullin from Aust, played his 600th senior appearance for Thornbury. His team defeated Minchinhampton 42-21.