Fourth loss on the bounce for Thornbury
Thornbury 14 - Okehampton 29
THORNBURY’S 29-14 home defeat to league leaders Okehampton was their fourth in a row as they hit a run of poor form.
It followed a 47-22 reverse for a young Thorns side at a bigger and more experienced Devonport Services side, a narrow 24-21 defeat at fellow strugglers Teignmouth and a 37-17 home loss to North Petherton.
The Devonport Services defeat saw Thorns never fully recover from a poor start, even though their big hearts and determination ensured the Plymouth side were reminded they were in a game.
Devonport kicked off and went ahead after 45 seconds, before extending their lead to 14-3 after just six minutes.
Thornbury knuckled down and the defence functioned better before pressure in midfield forced a handling error from the Devonport backs and the ball was booted, on with Jake Wood winning the race to the ball for a try between the sticks. He converted and Devonport’s lead was reduced to 14-10.
Either side of half-time Devonport stretched their lead to 33-10 but Thornbury hit back and the final score of 44-22 left them tantalisingly short of a bonus point.
The defeat at Teignmouth on February 2 saw Thornbury ordered to play a crucial game against relegation rivals despite the match having been postponed and their transport having been cancelled due to snow.
The game – already postponed from early December – had been postponed again and the players were stood down on Friday morning, only for the decision to be reversed later the same day, when Teignmouth organised a coach for Thornbury from Taunton.
Thorns were instructed to play and took a severely under-strength side, which included several players from the Under 18 development squad, to south Devon for a crucial match in the lower regions of the table. Although Thorns lost, they returned home with a losing bonus point, which may prove vital in the fight for survival.
The North Petherton match saw the Somerset side avenge their home defeat earlier in the season as they took on a Thorns side depleted by injury after the win at Cullompton. Thorns left empty handed despite claims for a clear penalty try being ignored in last play, which would have earned them an invaluable try bonus point.
Picture and match reports courtesy of Dave Fox