Thatcham in nine try demolition
Thatcham 55 High Wycombe 15
Lightning winger Liam Rowland hardly allowed Wycombe time to draw breath after kick off before he was over the line to put the home side ahead after less than 30 seconds. Hardly surprisingly, he went on to win the Newbury Building Society man of the match award after dabbing down a cool 4 tries in all for the afternoon. Derek Allan had won back possession from his own kick off, with scrum half Danny Shaughnessy combining to put Rowland clear into the corner.
High Wycombe have had a disappointing start to the their season and things soon got worse for them as Thatcham’s Rowland, on the right wing, found them vulnerable again in under ten minutes. Midway through the half, the visitors sparked a revival when they worked space on the flank and took advantage of loose ball to kick on and win the chase to pull the score back to 10 – 5, but from that point onward it was largely one way traffic in Thatcham’s favour.
With skipper, Matt Langdon, missing this week, Jack Caunt came in at loose head and the home front row, with Jamie Evans, Lewis Davies and Dave Chambers coming off the bench, showed their dominance in the set piece. As a consequence there was a steady flow of good possession and half back pairing of Danny Shaughnessy and Derek Allan really made hay spreading the ball wide for the Thatcham runners. Within a couple of minutes of Wycombe’s score, Rowland made his hat trick, albeit one of the easier touch downs for him, receiving the ball just a metre out, Shaughnessy adding the conversion.
The visitors pegged back three points with a fine long range penalty, but moments later it was fly half Allan’s turn taking a good line to carve his way through the defence. Shaughnessy’s conversion put Thatcham 24 – 8 ahead. Sadly, Derek Allan was unable to take further part in proceedings with a suspected hamstring, but there was no let off for Wycombe as Toby Littlechild came off the bench to fill the number 10 spot and show he’s not lost any of the old guile. In fact Littlechild was next on the scoresheet after great work from Danny Shaughnessy, who was having a field day at scrum half, running rings round defenders. Thatcham came close again before the break but by the time the whistle came it looked a long way back for Wycombe at
31 – 8.
Several of Thatcham’s side had enjoyed a long warm up in the morning, refereeing at the annual schools festival run by the club and now in its 27th year. But it didn’t seem to have done any harm as Nick Rance, this week at full back, once again this season looks to have stepped up a level, putting in another very solid performance, both defensively and coming in to the line. Thatcham began the second period much as they had ended the first, with two penetrating attacks involving Shaughnessy and Rance. By now, Marty Butler was sidelined through injury and a reshuffle saw Dave Chambers into the front row and the versatile Jamie Evans make way. It hardly mattered as the home side forged further ahead, and from a close scrum Tim Apperley grounded for Shaughnessy to convert.
A relentless spell of Thatcham pressure followed and credit to Wycombe for holding out, but the inevitable came midway through the half as hardworking flanker, Chris Dixon, who’d also been on duty all morning, stretched out a long arm to get the touch down. Barely two minutes gone before the fifty mark was hit, as Liam Rowland got his fourth of the afternoon and Shaughnessy converted.
With home confidence running high Thatcham were trying everything but it didn’t always work: so Wycombe benefited from a long range pass intercepted with ease for a clear run in and conversion to give the visitors a bit of respectability. But it was Thatcham that had the last word with a forwards effort powered over by Dave Chambers to make it 55 – 15 at the close.
Thatcham have made a promising start to this year’s campaign, but face a succession of tough fixtures, home on Saturday 14th to Drifters, then the first ever league meeting with Reading, away, on 21st October.
1. Jack Caunt; 2. Jamie Evans; 3. Lewis Davies; 4. Tim Apperley; 5. Jack Moore; 6. Chris Dixon; 7. Martyn Doolin; 8. Mark Smith; 9. Danny Shaughnessy; 10. Derek Allan (Toby Littlechild); 11. Sean Richardson; 12. Sam Smith; 13. Marty Butler (Dave Chambers); 14. Liam Rowland; 15. Nick Rance.
Tries: Rowland (4); Allan; Littlechild; Apperley; Dixon; Chambers
Conversions: Shaughnessy (5)