Comeback win gives Thorns a boost to morale
THORNBURY rallied from trailing 21-0 at half-time for a memorable 36-31 victory at Cleve to move up to fourth in South West One West.
Tries from winger Adam Lambert, fly-half Matt Spencer and scrum-half Nathan Huntley, all converted by Spencer, saw the hosts surge clear.
But Cleve's discipline slipped with a total of three yellow cards and a red, 13 minutes from time for flanker Dan Lear, and Thornbury made the most of their numerical advantage to complete the double over their Combination rivals.
Jak Evans launched the comeback with a try inside the first minute of the second period with Dai Matthews and former Bristol centre Rob Higgitt also crossing, Tim Stephens reducing the deficit to two points with two conversions.
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Cleve dug in with their fourth try, from full-back Andy Priddle with Spencer converting, to make it 28-19 with eight minutes to go.
But Thorns finished strongly with touchdowns from Matthews and Ollie Fleming (2) plus another Stephens conversion to wrap up a breathless encounter.
Next up for Thornbury is a home date on Saturday (2.30pm) with Clevedon, who overwhelmed Oldfield 43-20 in a match moved to Clevedon School because of conditions at Southey Road.
Harvey Russell, Mike Winter, George Towers, Tony Dauncey and Alex Giltrow grabbed five pointers with Mike Taylor booting 18 points thanks to four penalties and three conversions.
Second-placed Old Reds lost ground on leaders North Petherton with a 22-20 setback at Camborne, who secured the spoils with a last-gasp penalty.
Skipper Jed Hooper, Dave Harris and winger Joe Woodward claimed Reds' tries with Jack Steer adding one conversion and a penalty.
Reds will be looking to bounce straight back on Saturday with a home Combination derby against Cleve (2.30pm).