RUGBY: Thorney through to the county cup final
Thorney took the honours in the big derby clash in the Hunts & Peterborough Cup on Saturday (March 12) beating Borough seconds in a tightly contested semi-final.
Despite missing five regular forwards, which meant coach Chris Phillips coming out of retirement to play, Thorney managed to win 20-15 to earn a final showdown against Huntingdon seconds.
Borough came into the match at the Ron Jacobs Playing Fields boasting a proud winning run of 14 games on the trot but the villagers’ strength up front and all-round determination saw them through.
In the early stages it was Thorney who dominated possession and territory with their forwards gaining the upperhand in the set piece.
And it came as no surprise when Thorney took the lead on eight minutes with a try by veteran number eight Ed Johnson from a scrum five metres out.
Thorney continued to look threatening, particularly when the ball was in the hands of the pacey back three of Sean Leedell, Micheal Croucher and Reece Kenton, but good cover tackling by Borough kept them at bay.
Will Cook reduced the deficit to 5-3 with a penalty on 18 minutes but Phillips went over for Thorney from a lineout to make it 10-3 with half-an-hour gone.
That became 10-8 on the stroke of half-time when Borough’s hard-working number eight, Blake Heron touched down.
Thorney did most the attacking at the start of the second half with line breaks being made by second row Matthew Holdsworth and centre Jamie Jenkins but it wasn’t until the 58th minute that Thorney got the scoreboard moving again with a successful penalty kick by Rob Elsey.
Soon after Thorney speedster Sean Leedell raced in after a lovely cross-kick by fly-half Tom Deplancke and Elsey’s conversion made it 20-8 with 20 minutes to play.
The young Borough side threw everything at Thorney as the game opened up with both sides having opportunities to score.
On 70 minutes Borough’s man-of-the-match Luke Smedley bounced off a series of Thorney players to crash over the line to make the final score 20-15. .
Thorney coach Phillips said: “This was a good competitive game of local rugby which showed that Thorney have gained a hard mental edge which they didn’t have at the start of the season and Peterborough have a promising crop of players coming through the senior ranks.”
Borough coach Andy Shearer added: “The scoreline reflected the game. We have no complaints. Thorney were worthy winners.
“The game was encouraging for Borough though, partly as it showed that our second team can front up against a first team, but also because it contained five players under the age of 19.”