Committed Thornbees lose first home game

October 27 2017
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If pride and desire alone won games the Thornbees would have comfortably secured a win in their first home game but defensive errors proved costly.

By Dave Fox

 If pride and desire alone won games the Thornbees would have comfortably secured a win in their first home game but defensive errors proved costly.

The younger and more experienced Cheltenham Civil Service Ladies side proved to be more accurate and efficient and ran away with the game in the second half.

The hugely inexperienced Thornbees, with another group of players playing their first game of rugby, dominated the early rugby on an afternoon of constant rain in front of a big crowd that cheered on their every move. 

Playing downhill they controlled possession, had a disruptive scrum and carried well. It looked as though the Thornbees would take the lead on ten minutes when skipper Gemma Tyrrell raced clear after a good offload inside but she grounded the ball over the dead-ball line.

The team continued to press but good handling on a counter-attack by Cheltenham Civil Service took play deep into the Thornbees’ ‘22’, and eventually good offloading and support play put them in for a converted try.

The Thornbees applied great pressure but handling errors close to the opposition line handed key possession to their Cheltenham. With time running out Jo Johnson drove and earned a penalty. Laura Panting took it quickly and Lou Oakey crashed over for a deserved try. The conversion was missed and the Civil Service ladies led 7-5 at half time.

The second half was all the Civil Service. The backs handled well and as the Thornbees became increasingly tired they fell off too many tackles and Civil Service ran in six unanswered tries.

The youth, fitness and experience in key positions of the Civil Service side was the difference in the teams, and were factors that the visitors used well to score tries and chalk up a score which flattered them.