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Rugby defeat for Dereham in Vase

PUBLISHED: 09:44 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:47 07 July 2010

Action from Dereham's Vase tie.

Action from Dereham's Vase tie.

Thurston 33, Dereham 7

DEREHAM'S EDF Vase cup run came to an end on Saturday when they went down battling at Thurston.

Having beaten opposition from a higher league in the previous round, Dereham picked up another tough draw away to Eastern Counties One high-fliers.

Thurston 33, Dereham 7

DEREHAM'S EDF Vase cup run came to an end on Saturday when they went down battling at Thurston.

Having beaten opposition from a higher league in the previous round, Dereham picked up another tough draw away to Eastern Counties One high-fliers.

As often happens in cup matches the form book went out of the window and for long periods Dereham put the home side under real pressure and were unlucky to come away without a more flattering scoreline.

In the opening 20 minutes Dereham dominated possession and territory. Having worked on their counter-rucking in training, the pack finally showed what they could do with Canning, Brown and Brooks outstanding at the breakdown.

Drewery was finding touch from fly half and the line-out was producing quality ball that gave the back line the opportunity to play.

Pilbrow moved into scrum half and Fish moved back to inside centre and it wasn't long before the latter was making his presence felt with some hard running into the midfield. For all the possession, once again Dereham couldn't convert it into points, despite coming close with a rehearsed peel from the front of the line-out.

Thurston broke the stalemate after 25 minutes after making the most of a penalty taken quickly, putting the defence on the back foot for a score under the posts. Thurston scored twice more before half-time. The first try was a breakaway from the halfway line, and the second came from a speculative kick into the midfield which Dereham first appeared to have cleared up through Stu Lester, but with no support the winger was unable to maintain possession and Thurston worked the ball between the centre and wing to score in the corner.

At 21-0 Dereham still felt the game was within their reach and again they pressurised the home side at the ruck and line-out.

Pilbrow caused Thurston all sorts of problems with his physical presence and made some promising breaks from the base which took Dereham frequently close to the Thurston line where the home side seemed happy to concede penalties and scrums and rely on a re-grouped defence, knowing that Dereham would need to run the ball rather than take the three-point penalty.

All the pressure made Dereham vulnerable to the counter-attack and they paid the price when the wing broke from deep as Dereham were lined up steep and unable to react in time.

Thurston's second of the half came from the blind side of a scrum when despite the No 8 being stopped he was able to offload the ball into the corner.

Dereham salvaged some pride with the final score of the day after Malcolmson took the ball cleanly at the line-out and Roy Head, marking his return to first team duty, set up the drive and carried the ball over. Drewery added the extra two points from wide on the left.

Dereham's coach Frank Affleck was encouraged by the performance: “The scoreline doesn't really do the game justice, we gave them a torrid time this afternoon and I was pleased by the improved fitness and physicality we showed.

“We out-rucked Thurston and dominated territory for large periods of the game, but we still have to overcome that final phase which is preventing us from scoring more points.”

The first XV return to the league programme on Saturday with a home game against Hadleigh at 3pm.

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