THORNBURY put an end to their run of three consecutive defeats with what was their first victory of the year on Saturday at home to local rivals Swindon.

Jack Pinker returned for his first game since September and ran the show for Thornbury, who scored eight tries in what was a resounding victory in the Regional 2 Tribute Severn.

Swindon kicked off downhill and went ahead after two minutes with a converted try from a scrum in their half. However, they only held the lead for four minutes. Following a lineout on the Swindon line the ball was moved across the three-quarters where Mike Gaston barged over and Pinker converted to make it all-square.

But not for long. This time another break from a scrum exploited another hole in Thornbury’s defence and Peter Kewell scored. The conversion missed but Swindon led 12-7 and there was concern that the defence was having an off-day.

The see-saw nature of the game continued and Thornbury took the lead a minute later when Stu McWhinnie took the restart and set-up play on the Swindon ‘22’. The ball was moved to the right for Luke Panting to burst through and cross the line. Pinker’s conversion gave Thornbury a lead they never relinquished.

That lead was soon extended. Mike Priday attacked from a scrum in the Thornbury ‘22’ and charged up to the ten-metre line. The ball was quickly recycled and Bailey Paetel put Mike Johnson clear but he was high tackled a metre from the line and the referee had no option but to award a penalty try.

The hosts were on a roll now and they scored again when Dan Williams had a good run down the wing and Gaston linked with Johnson to charge over. The try bonus point in the bag, Pinker converted as the first quarter drew to a close with Thorns 28-12 up.

Thornbury ran back the restart and a cross-kick from Pinker put the fullback under pressure before Sam Garbett gathered and touched down. Pinker converted for 35-12.

It was one-way traffic and there was time for one more try before half-time as Henry Low was driven over from a lineout. 

Swindon controlled much of the third quarter and hooker Simon Pilkington scored from a quick penalty. As the match went into the final 20 minutes, Thorns got the scoreboard moving again.

Swindon tried to carry out of their ‘22’ but the ball went loose and Gez Asante picked up the ball, handed off a couple of tacklers and charged through to score (pictured).

Pinker converted, then scored himself a few minutes later running in support of Garbett and Thorns had reached the half century. Swindon scored a late consolation try but Thornbury won 52-22.