Thornbury began the season with nine-try win

August 24 2017
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With a side missing many of last season’s regulars, Thornbury included several development squad players in their season opening game against Reading Abbey.

With a side missing many of last season’s regulars, Thornbury included several development squad players in their season opening game against Reading Abbey. 

Highly-rated James Portch played his first game in over a year following knee surgery whilst Louis Ogilvie celebrated his seventeenth birthday with inclusion on the wing. 

Newly-arrived outside half Sam Poustie formed a youthful half-back combination with Harry Glew, meaning the returning Jak Evans began the game in an unfamiliar position in the back row.

The Berkshire visitors included a first-choice back line but were missing a few forwards, and that was evident as they were propelled backwards at an alarming rate at the first scrum.

With Thorns giving the ball air and width, fullback Alfie Richardson was involved early on and it was not surprising that it was he that scored the first try of the season, finishing off an orthodox three-quarter move from a scrum on the Abbey 22 metre line.

After the Abbey defence made a hash of a deep kick Jack Hussey secured possession and Jak Evans raced in at the corner. Harry Glew’s conversion put Thorns 12-0 ahead.

Sam Evans and Jack Hussey both scored from driving lineouts, Harry Glew converting one, and Thornbury were 24-0 up and scoring at a point a minute. Liam Pemberton scored as the first period came to an end to leave Thornbury 29-0 up.

Wholesale changes were made during the interval and within a few minutes hooker Henry Low powered over the Abbey line. Abbey deservedly opened their account with a converted try to reduce the deficit to 34-7.

Louis Ogilvie celebrated his birthday with a fine try. Sam Poustie perfectly executed a cross-kick which the young wing was able to take in his stride, round the cover and score between the posts. Harry Glew’s conversion put Thorns 41-7 up.

Outstanding support play between forwards and backs carved an opening for James Wood to charge through and score a converted try, but useful Abbey back Ollie Walton scored and converted a try to make the score 48-14 to Thornbury at the end of the second period.

A third period commenced with further changes to the Thornbury side but it was Abbey who looked the better team at this point and crossed for three tries, two of which were converted, before Wayne Underwood showed good determination to score between the posts for Thornbury to leave the home side 55-33 winners.

Thornbury scorers: tries – Alfie Richardson, Jak Evans, Jack Hussey, Sam Evans, Liam Pemberton, Henry Low, James Wood, Louis Ogilvie and Wayne Underwood; conversions – Harry Glew (4), Josh Panting.

Team: Alfie Richardson; Ben Read, James Portch, Wayne Underwood, Louis Ogilvie; Sam Poustie, Harry Glew; Luke Workman, Sam Evans, George Sheldon, George Maggs, James Wood, Liam Pemberton (c), Jak Evans, Jack Hussey.

Replacements: Stu Adams, Jack Civill-Williams, Ollie Fleming, Dan Green, Will Kane, Henry Low, Louis Osbourne, Josh Panting, Mark Roper, Joe Stewart, Jack Summerfield, Rob Tillen, Rui Veloso, George Williams

Referee: Gareth Dinsdale (Bristol Society)