Posted: 23.02.20 at 18:22 by Ralph Henderson
KCS Old Boys 26, Thurrock 25
THURROCK were hoping to make it four wins in a row when they faced the famous South London team on Saturday. With the terrible weather conditions still wreaking havoc in the country,the Old Boys made the wise decision to stage the game on Cobham's AGP.
Thurrock were still without the injured Henry Bird, while Charlie Currie was delighted to be in the starting line up for the first time in two years.
The early exchanges were fairly even until a series of drives led to a succession of penalties. As fly- half G.Jones pushed the ball deep into the Thurrock half, KCs were able to set up a bridgehead from which to attack. From one of these driving mauls, in spite of the efforts of Carey, Shorter and Currie, suddenly the KCs lock sheared off from the side of the maul and drove over virtually unopposed.
Now the home side started to increase their momentum and a fine switch move gave territorial advantage. From the next attack, Thurrock were only saved by a despairing attempt by skipper,Charlie Russo to intercept. He received a yellow card and Jones doubled the punishment by kicking the penalty.
Shortly afterwards the irrepressible Jake Barrand kicked a penalty for Thurrock, before the outstanding Joss Nunn rolled an ankle at a breakdown. He was replaced by student Kodie Holloway who is proving to be a real prospect for the future.
KCs were not to be denied and a clever move in the centre of the park left a big hole through which the outside centre "ghosted" clear. This was proving to be a real "roller-coaster" of a game and with Barrand proving a real handful, it was inevitable that Thurrock would haul themselves back into the match.
Full-back Niall Clifford is having a magnificent season and thoroughly enjoying the 15 shirt.
Time and time again, he can be seen accelerating through the outside channel with some exquisite timing and purpose. Saturday was no different and it was no surprise when he added one of his signature tries.
Yet again the home side came back and a rampaging run from Read could not be halted as he bullocked his way through Jake Bedding's brave attempt to tackle.
The game "see-sawed" once again when an astute kick through was gathered at pace by Barrand who left the defenders "flat-footed"as he added to Thurrock's scoreline.
Another penalty and a slashing break put Fiduyini in for KCs and it looked all over for the Oakfield outfit.
However, this side has built confidence and resilience of late and in the dying embers of the game following a clever set piece, hooker Ryan Wilkins found the space to set up a great finale to an evenly-contested game.
Unfortunately, on this occasion,there was to be no fairy-tale ending as Jake Barrand's conversion attempt sailed narrowly wide. Nevertheless,this had been another valiant performance played away in difficult conditions.
Next week Thurrock are at home to London Cornish. Kick Off at Oakfield is at 3pm.