Rugby season is over for Thornbury

March 26 2020

ALL club rugby – with the exception of the Premiership – has been called off due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s a great shame, as Thornbury had done well across the various teams and age groups, with the first XV in with a sniff of going up to South West Premier, lying just a few points behind Hornets at the top, with four home games left. But it wasn’t to be.

Nevertheless, great credit goes to Sam Evans and the players for doing so well, and for Tom Luke and his coaching team for getting the team together and pointed in the right direction so effectively.

Nick Crocombe suffered a neck injury playing for Thornbury IIs against Frampton Cotterell on March 7. He is currently in hospital.

Nick is responding well following an operation to stabilise a broken neck. Thankfully it appears he will make a full recovery in time.

We all wish Nick a speedy recover and hope his stay in hospital is short.

In their last match before the season was prematurely stopped, Thornbury’s four-match winning run came to an abrupt end in the mud at Sidmouth, where they lost 29-10.

After controlling the first half Thornbury were nowhere to be seen after the break as Sidmouth took the match by the scruff of the neck and ran out comfortable winners.

Thorns were forced to make several changes to the team which severely tested their strength in depth.

They had beaten Sidmouth 26-0 at home last November but were well-aware that Sidmouth had a good home record this season. The pitch survived a Friday inspection but was very soft and heavy underfoot.

Thornbury had looked the better side in the first half and should have been comfortably ahead but went in level at 10-10, Alfie Richardson and Jack Pinker scoring unconverted tries in response to a penalty and converted try from Sidmouth.

But a half-time back row substitution for the home side proved crucial, with Sidmouth taking control of the match from the kick-off.

Thorns couldn’t get their hands on the ball, and when they did they played into Sidmouth’s hands by over-complicating moves, kicking the ball away, not protecting the loose ball and beginning to miss tackles. The contrast in the two sides from their first half displays was marked.

With ten minutes to go Sidmouth led 29-10 and despite creating scoring opportunities twice in the dying minutes, Thorns squandered them with knock-ons five metres out. Although Thornbury finished the game on top the match had gone, and Sidmouth were comfortable winners.

The turn-around in Thornbury’s performance was strange and stark. They looked like a different side and struggled to control and protect the loose ball in the second half and took many wrong options.

 

Dave Fox