THORNBURY Women inflicted a first defeat of the season on league leaders Dursley Ladies at the weekend in a thrilling local derby.

The opening stages were close but Thornbury scored first when Sadie Giles capitalised on a quick penalty in the Dursley 22 to crash over, with Rosie Sawyer adding the conversion.

But back came Dursley as they first reduced the deficit with Vicky Mansell's penalty before two quick tries from Kathryn Sutton and Kathryn Thompson saw the league leaders go 15-7 ahead.

Despite the set-back, Thornbury knuckled down and pressurised Dursley into mistakes and one of those was gobbled up by Gemma Tyrrell on the 10-metre line before she sprinted clear for a converted score. 14-15

A few minutes later, Dursley scored a bizarre try when a sliced clearing kick bounced into the hands of Dursley forward Julianne Thomson, who ran twenty metres to score. The conversion restored their eight-point lead at 22-14.

As half-time approached, Thornbury managed to get themselves back down into Dursley's 22 and Laura Panting dummied the defence and scored. The conversion heralded the half-time whistle with Dursley leading 22-21.

Two minutes after the break, Dursley exploited some weak tackling to score an unconverted try through scrum-half Jasmine Parsons to extend the lead to 27-21.

This inspired Thornbury and they took play deep into Dursley territory but a combination of good defence and some handling errors prevented a score until mid-way through the half when Panting broke from a scrum on the 22 and weaved her way over.

Dursley extended their lead with another Mansell penalty late in the match but the game was not done.

Thornbury won a lineout and after a remarkable driving maul, the forwards rumbled twenty metres for Panting to complete her hat-trick. The conversion missed but Thornbury finally had the lead. 31-30.

As the game ticked towards the 80-minute mark, Dursley had the opportunity to retake the lead from the tee, but the long-range penalty fell short and it sparked a counter-attack from the hosts.

Sawyer caught the ball by her posts and set off on a fine run through the Dursley defence before she linked with Panting who charged to the Dursley ‘22’.

The ball was recycled and the backs went left where Polly Pearce raced in for Thornbury’s sixth try. The conversion went wide but Thornbury were 36-30 ahead and the final whistle blew to spark mass celebrations.