JACK Pinker scored twenty points as Thornbury showed great pride in the shirt to return from Trowbridge with a memorable win against the odds, writes Dave Fox.

With many players unavailable due to injuries and pre-arranged commitments for this last-minute fixture change, Thornbury went to Wiltshire with a heavily rotated side.

Thornbury started well and Stu McWhinnie crashed over for a try which Pinker converted. for his first points of the afternoon.

Trowbridge pulled level a few minutes later from a cross-kick, then went ahead when the ball bounced away from Thornbury’s defenders in the in-goal area and the left wing scored. The conversion gave Trowbridge a 14-7 lead.

Late in the half, Thorns took a quick penalty in the home 22 and Charlie Joynt raced in for a try, with Pinker's conversion making it 14-14 at half time.

Early in the second half, Trowbridge scored a converted try from a scrum on Thornbury’s line. There were fears that Thornbury’s elderly legs and lack of match time would see the Wiltshire team pull away.

But Thornbury are made of sterner stuff. Jack Pickles acrobatically stole the ball from a ruck on the touchline and fed Wood who burst through before offloading to Pinker who swerved inside and outside the last defenders to score a fine try. He converted and the scores were level again.

Two minutes later Richardson hit the line at pace and sped through, kicked over the fullback and won the race to the ball for a fine individual try which earned Thornbury the bonus point. The conversion narrowly missed but Thorns had a lead they would not relinquish.

Thornbury’s defence had been good throughout the game but it was now forced to increase its intensity. Then, midway through the half, Pinker extended the lead to 29-21 with a penalty.

With time running out, Trowbridge scored a fourth try to reduce Thorns’ lead to just three points, but shortly afterwards Pinker kicked his second penalty and with less than ten minutes to go Trowbridge needed a converted try to go ahead.

But it would be Pinker who had the last laugh in the game, slotting a drop goal to put Thornbury two scores ahead at 35-26.

This was a remarkable win. With a team made up of veterans, injured players and many playing out of position, the heart and collective desire to win overcame the physical and mental obstacles the match provided.

They defied restrictions of age, fitness and experience to give everything for themselves and their team. It was a great performance.  It would be unfair to single anyone for particular praise but Jack Pinker was outstanding. His points haul included a rare full house of scoring, the first time a player had done this in the First XV since January 1989.