Thatcham find their mojo
By Nick Rance
Thatcham got their mojo working at last with a deserved victory against third placed Yeovil to lift themselves two places up the table and put a little confidence back into the side.
There’s no doubt the huge injury count this season has had a massive impact across the club, but things are beginning to settle and Thatcham were able to put out a mostly unchanged side, with the exception of the returning Tim Apperley, so influential, who pleasingly lasted the full 80 minutes.
For mojo, read mindset, and this week there was a grit, determination and intensity that hasn’t always been seen in recent weeks. And it was none other than the hoochie coochie man himself, James Thorogood, who stole this week’s Newbury Building Society man of the match award with a brace of tries either side of the break.
Thatcham took first blood with a penalty from the boot of fly half Charlie Lutterloch, but Yeovil had a good spell of pressure and worked an overlap out wide for the first try mid-way through the half. The second quarter was all Thatcham and it seemed after a long period camped on the Yeovil line a score was inevitable, but against the run of play, a well read interception barely 15 metres out saw the Yeovil no 10 outpace the chasers to score under the posts at the other end for seven points and a 3 – 12 lead.
The Thatcham pack were providing a great platform for the home backs with lots of opportunities to run at the opposition and so the home side were quickly back on the offensive. Marty Butler and Brandon Davies were looking lively and getting plenty of the ball and Dan Tingle’s experience directing operations from scrum half proved very effective. As confidence built, so Thatcham went through the phases and hooker, James Thorogood’s agility and quick thinking brought the try, converted by Charlie Lutterloch to reduce the deficit to 10 -12 at half time.
Thatcham won the second half 18 – 0 as they dominated a young looking Yeovil side that just couldn’t get any sustained pressure going largely thanks to a near faultless showing from the home team. Unusually, Thatcham didn’t use any subs, a reflection perhaps of the extent to which every player was still up for it, although it was tough on Rance and Rayner on the bench. Some more calculating decision making helped as well, so Thatcham opted to take the points, and the lead, from a straightforward penalty. Nearing the mid point of the half Butler put in a nifty chip and chase. Good support from the pack had Matt Langdon reclaiming possession and Chris Dixon held up short before James Thorogood struck for his second.
A subdued Yeovil was conceding penalties and wisely Thatcham went for another three points to put them two scores ahead. Yeovil put in some dogged defensive work but with Thatcham still running at them Brandon Davies was stopped 10 metres short, Thatcham recycled across field and Tim Apperley crashed over for the third try converted by Lutterloch to seal the matter.