Thornbury 43 Devizes 24 

Report by Dave Fox 

Thornbury ended their league season with a seven try win which consolidated their fifth place in the table.

Thorns struggled to get out of third gear for most of the game but ran in four second-half tries which put victory beyond the Wiltshire club.

Thornbury kicked off downhill into a gale.

Devizes looked the better side in the first quarter, towards the end of which their right wing exploited space out wide to score.

The conversion gave Devizes a deserved lead.

Thorns hit back immediately from the restart.

Alfie Richardson tore through the defence on the left then passed inside to Mike Gaston who scored.

The wind blew the conversion wide and Devizes’ lead was reduced to 7-5.

Early in the second quarter Thornbury went ahead when they were awarded a penalty try after Devizes collapsed a rolling maul on the line.

But it was Devizes who scored next when their forwards drove over following a period of pick and go on the Thornbury line.

The conversion made it 14-12.

Late in the half Thorns took a quick penalty close to the visitors’ line and after Stu McWhinnie and James Wood were close to scoring Henry Low dived over. Jack Pinker converted but Devizes had the last say with a penalty on the stroke of halftime.

Thornbury led 19-17.

Within a few minutes of the match restarting Sam Garbett scored the bonus point try when intercepting thirty metres out to run in unopposed. 

Pinker converted then as the third quarter came to a close Thorns scored again. Gez Asante secured a turnover and the ball was moved along the backs.

Richardson hit the line at pace and swerved around the cover to score. Thorns led 31-17.

Devizes hit back with a converted try then should have scored another following an interception.

Shortly afterwards Gaston stole possession from a Devizes attacker and after Low and Richardson made good ground Garbett scored his second try of the match. The conversion missed but Thorns led 36-24.

Thorns continued to attack for the rest of the game and close to its end Ben Wood crashed over after the pack had carried hard from a lineout and put the Devizes defence on the back foot. Pinker converted for 43-24 and the referee blew for the end of the match a few minutes later.

Despite this being an impressive result it had been a strangely lethargic performance from Thornbury.

Nevertheless, the win was comprehensive with particularly good performances from Henry Low and Stuart McWhinnie in the pack whilst Mike Gaston and Alfie Richardson ran hard in the backs.

So the league season is over. Thornbury finished fifth which seems about right.

At their best they were good with fine doubles over Drybrook and Trowbridge, but they were also inconsistent and suffered some hidings.

Royal Wootton Bassett are promoted whilst Chosen Hill and Devizes are both relegated.

Next Saturday Thornbury are in the first round of the Papa John’s Plate and travel to Southampton club Tottonians.

Kick-off is 3pm