THORNBURY RFC stages an incredible second-half comeback to beat Devizes and win their opening game of the new season.

Thorns suffered the worst possible start when Sam Butcher pulled a hamstring within seconds of the kick-off before the Devizes left wing scored in the corner. The try was converted and with ninety seconds gone Devizes led 7-0. 

Although Thorns were stuttering to get going they did equalise when Luke Panting was driven over from a driving lineout, Jack Pinker adding the extras to tie the score.

But Devizes were well on top and although Thorns’ discipline was good, they were being forced to do plenty of defending. Devizes added a penalty and scored from a period of pressure, with the conversion extending the lead to 17-7.

The hosts went on to kick another three-pointer before racing over for the bonus-point try and at 27-10, it looked as if Thornbury were in for a tough afternoon. 

The riot act was read at half-time by coaches Wayne Thompson and Gareth Knox and Thorns seemed to respond immediately, a penalty from Pinker reducing the deficit.

Devizes discipline began to break and after a yellow card for one of the props, Thorns’ dominance eventually paid off with a try for Owen Popple following a period of pick and go on the line. Pinker converted to reduce the deficit to 27-20. Game on.

A couple of minutes later, the forwards drove ten metres from a lineout and tied up the defence before putting Mike Johnson in at the corner flag.

Pinker’s excellent conversion tied the score but a penalty regained the lead for Devizes with five minutes remaining. 30-27. 

Thorns surged back into the Devizes half. The home side secured possession in their ‘22’ but Max Harper acrobatically charged down a clearing kick, gathered the bouncing ball and dived over for the match-winning, and bonus-point, try.

Pinker converted and Thorns had to survive a nervous final few moments but were able to close out the game for a memorable comeback win.