THORNBURY conceded 36 unanswered points in the second-half as relegation-threatened Winscombe came from behind to thump a sorry Thornbury side, writes Dave Fox.

The hosts never got going and came a distant second to a fired-up Winscombe in a mirror image of the encounter between the sides earlier in the season.

Although leading 12-8 at half-time, Thorns shipped six second-half tries without reply to a side desperate to secure points to reduce the risk of relegation.

Thorns kicked off downhill under low cloud but Winscombe attacked from a scrum close to halfway a few minutes into the game and some woeful tackling allowed them to take play to the line where they scored after a period of pick-and-go. The conversion missed but a penalty a few minutes later opened up an 8-0 lead.

Injuries meant the bench were brought on midway through the half. In the second quarter, Thornbury finally woke up and scored their first try of the game. Stuart McWhinnie burst clear on the ‘22’ but was hauled down five metres short. Thorns had the bit between their teeth and Tom Constable spun out of a tackle and planted the ball over the line for a try. Sam Poustie converted to reduce the deficit to 8-7.

After thirty minutes Thornbury were ahead. Several phases down the left tied up the defence and Owen Popple and Alfie Richardson combined down the right to put Sam McLaren in at the corner. The conversion fell short but Thorns led 12-8 at half-time.

Winscombe took the game by the scruff of the neck after the restart and through sound defence, aggressive line speed and quick support, they restored their lead when the forwards drove over for a converted try early in the second half.

Disruptive injuries saw Thornbury’s kicking game fall apart. Winscombe, on the other hand, were able to dictate the play and scored again when Thorns poorly-defended an attack from a scrum. They scored another try following a close assault on Thornbury’s line and the conversion increased the lead to 27-12.

The contrasting kicking games of both sides meant Thornbury couldn’t clear their lines. Thorns’ ball retention wasn’t good and the visiting pack began to bully them.

They conceded another score direct from a scrum when Thornbury allowed Winscombe the space to run and in the dying moments, their outside centre scored twice, converted one, and Thornbury's noses were rubbed in the mud. Winscombe’s 36-point haul in the second half made for a particularly uncomfortable watch.