Yeovil 41 v Thatcham 10
By James Thorogood
Thatcham are shortchanged in Somerset
Thatcham’s adventures in Southern Counties South continued with a long round trip to Yeovil in Somerset, but with a much changed squad from the one who’d performed so well against Swindon College Old Boys the week before. A combination of a serious injury last week that required major surgery, a new baby, work & family commitments and general availability issues meant just 16 players boarded the coach.
Although Yeovil, previously known as Ivel Barbarians, are lying 3rd in the league, Thatcham had won the home fixture comfortably earlier in the season and there was no reason to think the underpowered Thatcham team wouldn’t repeat their success after dominating both possession and territory for the first 20 minutes.
But once again the visitors were let down by some lacklustre defending and so it was that Thatcham’s first score arrived after the home team had already chalked two converted tries on the scoreboard. Yeovil won a scrum ten metres out from their line, but Derek Allan put them under pressure and Danny Shaughnessy ripped the ball from the Yeovil no 8 to close the gap for hooker James Thorogood to burrow over from close range.
The Thatcham scrum had dominated from the start with front row Langdon, Thorogood and Davies to the fore, yet despite driving the scrum forward were continually penalised for reasons best known to the official. To compound matters it seemed everyone bar the referee thought that Lewis Davies had scored a perfectly good try from a pick and drive, but the official was poorly positioned and declined to award it.
Another penalty award took the score to 17 – 5 at the break.
In the forwards, Tim Apperley, Jamie Evans, George Seymour and the outstanding Louis Kanaar-Brown worked tirelessly throughout the game. But frustrations continued for the visitors, losing skipper Jamie Evans with a broken finger early in the second period.
Ash Swaisland carried strongly whenever he had the opportunity while Danny Shaughnessy was a constant threat with his sniping runs for scrum half.
However, after the first 20 minutes play the indications of the final result started to appear and despite all Thatcham’s positive play during the game they managed to concede 12 penalties in the first half, more than 30 in the game and for whatever reason missed too many important tackles.
Thatcham’s second try was scored by Ash Swaisland after an excellent reverse ‘slight of hand’ by Sam Smith midway through the 2nd half.
With some more hard work at training these are the games Thatcham should really win. Thatcham remain five points clear of the relegation zone and need to focus on key remaining fixtures to ensure their status in Southern Counties for the next campaign.
1. Matt Langdon; 2. James Thorogood; 3. Lewis Davies; 4. Tim Apperley; 5. Rich Browne; 6. George Seymour; 7. Louis Kanaar-Brown; 8. Jamie Evans; 9. Danny Shaughnessy; 10. Derek Allan; 11. Ashley Swaisland; 12. Sam Smith; 13. Brandon Davies; 14. Chris Pretlove; 15. Ben Willis
Replacements: Ben Walton