LONDON 1 SOUTH: Sevenoaks 40 Thurrock 15
Sevenoaks Rugby Club 1st XV started the season in fine style on Saturday as they beat visiting Thurrock 40-15 and kicker Ben Adams definitely shone in the sunshine as he racked up an impressive 20 points – 4 penalties, 3 conversions and 1 try.
The two hundred-strong Paddock faithful roaring the Oaks on were graced with sunny weather and bright running rugby as Sevenoaks opened its League account with a compelling team performance that owed much to the hard yards, sweat and pain of nine weeks of pre-season training.
The opening exchanges, however, saw the visitors in the ascendancy, and it was Thurrrock who crossed the line first following a midfield break. Their advantage was pegged back by the imperious boot of Ben Adams, who both opened and closed the scoring for Sevenoaks – providing the icing on the cake of an outstanding performance in all but the final play of the game by scoring a try on the counter that was set up by Cormac Barry, which Adams converted.
The nip and tuck match was very tight to half-time. Although Oaks were 23-10 up at the break following the first of two tries by centre Josh Thorneycroft after scrum half Matt Holmes’ opener, you sensed Thurrock was still in the game and that perhaps the monster long range 3-pointer from the half-way line by Adams midway through the first half would prove vital.
Thurrock certainly started the second half the livelier of the two teams, and pressed hard at the Oaks defense with solid running in the 10/12 channel and aggressive forays by a strong five-eighth.
But the Oaks defensive patterns held sway, and even though Thurrock broke through for a try to make it 26-15 following another immaculate penalty from Ben Adams, as the clock ticked on the Oaks began to gel and the home side’s fluidity resulted in a well worked try in the corner for McCrae before a second for Thorneycroft. By this stage fitness was having its say and although Thurrock continued to take the game to Oaks, the navy and golds were growing in confidence, and held the upper hand in both forwards and backs to close out the game in some style.
“I am delighted for the players,” said Head Coach Adam Bowman after the match. “We have worked very hard in recent weeks, and our focus in training clearly shone through today. There was brilliant news away from the Paddock as well, with wins for the 2nd XV and the 4th XV away to Vigo to take us into another intense week of training.”
Next week the Oaks hit the road in the League, with the 1st XV away to London Cornish, 3:00pm kick off. We welcome all support at Sevenoaks Rugby – visit our website to find out more about when and where to show your support for your local team: www.sevenoaksrugby.com