High scoring Chiefs rack up points

Thornbury 1st XV 36, Sidmouth 1st XV 59

Both coaches will be dusting off the defence manual after this 13-try epic, writes Terry O’Brien.

Thanks to an commanding performance by the pack, and the accurate boots of Dan Retter and Tom Whelan, the Chiefs were never in danger of losing control of this game. However, they were rocked by a strong Thornbury fight back in the second half.

For the second week running the Chiefs got off to a flying start and had wrapped up a try bonus point inside 15 minutes. Playing up the slope, the forwards turned over the ball at a ruck inside their own half. Sam Richardson broke away to link with the backs. Tom Whelan chipped ahead over the cover and James Powell followed up to touchdown in the second minute. Tom Whelan converted.

A few minutes later Sam Meadham chased up a Dan Retter kick to regain possession and set up a move, which was finished off by Chris Higgs. Again Whelan converted. Then, in the 10th minute a James Powell run took play deep into the home 22 to set up the position for Sam Richardson to score from a lineout catch-and-drive.

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Thornbury momentarily halted the momentum, and showed their attacking potential with a fine backs move finished off by the full back. The try was converted. However, the Chiefs hit back almost immediately, when Powell again joined the line to send Higgs in for his second try, which Whelan converted.

Play was evenly contested for much of the remainder of the half until Sidmouth finished it with a burst of scoring. Tom Whelan rewarded a period of pressure with a penalty before skipper Alan Hubbleday dived over in the left corner to round off a good handling move. Dan Retter added the conversion while Tom Whelan was receiving treatment for an injury. Retter then kicked a drop goal to make the halftime score 39-7.

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Tom Whelan opened the second half with a penalty before Thornbury scored two unconverted tries in quick succession by the outside centre and the right winger. Both came from quick tap penalties inside the Sidmouth 22.

Dan Retter dropped a second goal after a Sam Meadham run had set up the position. Meadham then produced another superb mazy run to score a converted try.

With play going from end to end, both sides were denied scores in the middle of the half. Jack Pyne lost possession as he was tackled crossing the line at one end, while a Thornbury player was held up over the line at the other. However, Thornbury maintained the attacking position and the left winger rounded off a good handling move. The try was converted.

A period of Sidmouth pressure produced a second try for Sam Richardson when he peeled around the back of a lineout. Whelan converted.

Thornbury showed their fighting spirit to score two tries in the closing minutes. The right winger finished off a fine backs move and the influential scrum half rounded off a move, which started deep in his own half.

On Saturday the Chiefs entertain Old Redcliffians. The kick off at the Blackmore is at 2.30pm.

The Quins travel to Barnstaple for another tough Merit Table game.

The Colts’ game at Cullompton has been postponed for a week.

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