Impressive win on the road for Thorns
Newent 17 - 22 Thornbury
By Dave Fox
Battling Thornbury returned from Newent with a fine win earned by pragmatic options in attack and committed defence.
In a game that swung from end to end throughout Thornbury reacted better to poor conditions and had the edge in tight forward play. Newent played dry-weather rugby on a distinctly wet afternoon and paid the penalty.
Newent had scored over forty points in each of their home games this season and although missing influential scrum half James Dean they represented as stern a challenge as Thornbury are likely to encounter this season.
Early on Thornbury’s forwards drove from a lineout, Tom Williams breaking clear and knocking two defenders out of the way before touching down for the opening points.
After a fine rolling Newent maul Tom Webb nipped inside the Thornbury defence and went over for the try. Ollie Critchley was then yellow-carded for swearing. Webb converted his try and Newent were 10-5 ahead at the break.
Thorns regained the lead within ninety seconds of the restart. The Newent defence made a hash of a high kick from Jak Evans; Luke Panting chased hard, gathered the ball and fed Jake Wood who went over out wide. He then converted his try to make it 12-10.
Ten minutes later Jake Wood increased the lead with a penalty after Jak Evans had broken from a lineout on halfway.
Newent were reduced to fourteen men when a replacement forward was yellow carded for pulling down Tom Constable at a lineout. Tom Luke put the penalty into the corner and a driving lineout, which included several backs, rumbled twenty metres but was held up over the line. From the scrum Thornbury drove Newent over their line for a push-over try claimed by Jack Hussey. Jake Wood’s conversion increased the lead to 22-10.
Newent piled on the pressure as time began to run out and close to full-time Jack Hussey was yellow carded for pulling a player out of a ruck on halfway.
The home side, desperate for a score to secure a losing bonus point, attacked frantically and in last play centre Charlie Gellert picked the ball up at a ruck on the Thornbury ‘22’ and raced clear for a try between the posts.