THORNBURY blew away the challenge of Chosen Hill thanks to a blistering first half which saw them score five tries and build an unassailable lead to secure a bonus-point victory on Saturday, writes Dave Fox.

Having been in overdrive in the first half, they never got out of third gear in the second and allowed the visitors to gain confidence and outscore Thorns after the break. However, Jack Pinker helped himself to a twenty-point haul for the second successive match.

Thorns kicked off downhill and set about attacking with width and pace from the outset. They went ahead from a lineout close to the goal line where James Wood barged over. Pinker’s conversion missed but three minutes later he was successful with a second when after several phases Kieran Wilson sprinted in from a metre to score. Thornbury led 12-0 after only six minutes.

Centres Mike Gaston and Chris Perrett were getting involved in every move and Chosen Hill struggled to keep them under control. Then as the first quarter came to a close Pinker kicked a penalty to extend the lead.

Shortly afterwards Thorns scored again. Gaston made a clean break and Sam Garbett took play to the line. He made the ball available for Mike Priday who spun out of a tackle to score close to the corner flag. The conversion missed but Thorns led 20-0. Gaston and Charlie Joynt were inches short before Thorns scored their bonus point try. Perrett ran hard from an attacking scrum and scored by the posts. Pinker added the extras.

As the first half went into injury time Thornbury scored a spectacular try. They turned over Chosen Hill following a lineout in the home ‘22’ and with great ambition they moved the ball. Perrett surged through and took play into the visitors’ half and passed inside to Pinker who raced forty metres for the try. He converted then added a penalty for Thornbury to lead 37-0 at the break.

Thornbury began the second half as they had finished the first with centres Gaston and Perrett involved in a fine move taking play to the Chosen Hill ‘22’.  Pinker cross-kicked for Garbett to score but the referee disallowed the try. Instead, Pinker kicked a penalty to ease Thorns to 40-0.

The match restarted and Chosen Hill took play into the Thornbury ‘22’ where they drove over for an unconverted try from a lineout. They were on top and good defence kept them out. Eventually, they scored an identical unconverted try from a lineout and Thorns’ lead was reduced to 40-10. 

That proved to be the last score of the game and despite an underwhelming second-half display, it was a convincing victory for Thornbury. Next Saturday Thornbury are at Chippenham for their penultimate league match of the 2023/24 campaign. Kick-off is at 3:00 pm.