Forgettable afternoon for Thorns

February 26 2018
Forgettable afternoon for Thorns

Thornbury were well beaten by a North Petherton side desperate for a win to ease themselves away from the relegation zone.

By Dave Fox

North Petherton 41 - 10 Thornbury 


Thornbury were well beaten by a North Petherton side desperate for a win to ease themselves away from the relegation zone.

It was a case of déjà vu for Thornbury who once again returned from Beggars Brook having been out-muscled up front and denied the possession needed to play to their strengths in the backs. It was an entirely forgettable afternoon.

North Petherton, always difficult to beat at their ground, were languishing in tenth place just a few points above the third relegation place. A win was desperately important to them and they to fielded their strongest side of the season for the match.

Thornbury kicked off towards the town and scored early. North Petherton’s clearing kick was charged down and Thornbury regathered the ball and quickly moved it wide where Sam Poustie crashed through a covering tackle to score by the corner flag. 

North Petherton gradually got back into the match and their big forwards began to take control. Jak Evans was yellow-carded for slapping the ball out of the home scrum half’s hands and although Thornbury were able to deal with a scrum on their own line and secure a turnover, the clearing kick missed touch and North Petherton ran it back with purpose, Arron Gibbs being put clear following good passing and he scored out wide. 

Thornbury created a good chance to score as forwards and backs took play to the North Petherton ten-metre line.  Instead it was North Petherton who scored when wing Mike Stevens supported a forward drive that tied up Thornbury’s defence to score in the corner two minutes later. Sam Williams converted to make it 14-5 and the writing was on the wall for Thornbury.

Jak Evans returned to the fray in time for the restart. Fourteen points had been conceded when he was off, but within seconds he was off again, this time for treatment to a gash on his eye lid. Louis Ogilvie hobbled off as well with Jake Goodridge and Louis Osborne coming on. Another reshuffle of the Thornbury line-up ensued with Tom Williams now finding himself at inside centre.

North Petherton were in full control. The Somerset side weren’t to be denied and took a scrum against the head in the Thornbury 22 and after several drives on the Thornbury line flanker Mac Taylor was driven over. The conversion missed but North Petherton led 19-5 at half time.

North Petherton started the second half as they had ended the first. Thornbury’s tackling was woeful and after three minutes wing Henry Gliddon was allowed to score the bonus point try.

After an altercation between the players, Johnny Heaven was yellow-carded for retaliation and a North Petherton prop was also given ten minutes to cool his heels.

Thornbury then delivered arguably the worst quarter of rugby this season. Tackling continued to be optional. Taylor scored a second try and home skipper Dominik Griffin touched down in quick succession and with Williams converting one the lead was extended to 36-5 with over twenty minutes to go. 

From the restart  Harry Tarling was hit high and late by Jack Coles and North Petherton lock was sent to the bin shortly before the previous yellow card holders returned to the pitch.

With ten minutes remaining Thornbury were awarded a penalty and went for territory. From the lineout Thornbury drove George Sheldon over for a try. The conversion was missed.

Thornbury remained on top and looked to finish with another consolation score. However, Jack Hussey became the third Thornbury player to receive a yellow-card and North Petherton put the ball in the corner from which they drove Aiden Cotton over for the final try and a 41-10 win.

Scorers: Thornbury: tries – Sam Poustie and George Sheldon

North Petherton: tries – Arron Gibbs, Mike Stevens, Mac Taylor (2), Henry Gliddon, Dominik Griffin, Aiden Cotton; conversions – Sam Williams (3)