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Thetford on the verge of title after hammering Thurston

PUBLISHED: 13:39 28 March 2017

Thetford RFC's Cotton.

Thetford RFC's Cotton.

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The Eastern Counties One league leaders headed to Thurston last weekend looking to move closer to the title.

From the first whistle it was clear that Thurston were up for the game. A fumble by a Thetford player coughed up possession and the Thurston pack rumbled toward the Thetford Line resulting in their number eight being held up over the line. The resulting scrum boosted by the returning Abraham Barnes drove them back and the backs cleared Thetford’s lines.

The backs were on fire and after a couple of phases it was clear there was a space to attack in the midfield and they exploited it with three tries in quick succession from Will Martin, Ryan Gardiner and Josh Clark.

Thurston rallied and scored just moments later from their eight this time successfully grounding the ball. The forwards worked hard and had the upper hand in the scrum and line out but didn’t see much ball due to the success the backs were having. Before the half ended Gardiner from full back scored a hat-trick and Clark had secured his brace. Thurston soldiered on and scored a carbon copy of their earlier try bringing the half time score to 12-42.

The second half continued in the same vein with Martin securing his brace early on and Gardiner scoring his fourth before Thurston again scored from short range. The forwards finally got in on the act when the impressive Luke Bailey scored under the posts after a barnstorming run.

Thurston changed tact and heavily marked the trio in the backs which just made space for stalwart Adam Harper and Mitch Steven to score.

The game then continued at a steady pace and the last Thetford try was a thing of beauty with forwards and backs offloading to supporting runners. The ball finally made itself to Gareth Smith Hughes, who shrugged off his opposite man to score his debut try for Thetford.

Thurston never gave up and scored the last points of the game showing their character and resolve bringing the final score to 24-82.

Man of the match was Ryan Gardiner who was in outstanding form in attack and defence.

A win this week will secure the league title with a game left.


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