BOURNS BEGIN THEIR DEFENCE OF THE NORTH MIDLANDS CUP WITH A WIN.
BOURNVILLE 59 HALESONIANS 12
The cup draw gods deemed that Bournville and Halesonians should re-run last seasons epic final, this time at the quarter final stage, so with Metchley Park once again standing in as a venue for home games, the casts of both teams and supporters assembled on a dry track condusive for running rugby.
Bourns resisted the temptation to rest players and picked the strongest 18 available. The backs remained unchanged as did the front row and finishing back row from last week. Captain Tom Holliday returned after an enforced lay off with Steve Handy moving to the bench. Young prop Sam Roe made his first team debut from the bench leaving Alex Warner to take the last subs coat.
An unfamiliar looking Hales team, due to a change in club direction, took to the field and it was they who had the ascendancy in the first quarter. Their plan was to get it wide and as quickly as possible to try and stretch the home defence. After 3 minutes a scuffle occurred on half way and prop Dan McCue got involved which earned him a 10 minute rest, which aided the Hales cause. Good ball retention in the 22 created some space and only a forward pass prevented an early score. However Hales continued with their policy and created an overlap after 8 minutes after a poor kick chase with the left wing going over un-opposed for a converted score. On 13 minutes, some more good hands and support play earned the visitors another try in the corner for a 12 nil lead.
At this stage the Bournville physio was working overtime patching up players but couldn't assist center James Hussey who had a dead leg, so with the backs re-shuffled, the Bourns machine finally woke up putting pressure on Hales at the break down and squeezing the improving lineout. After 25 minutes the forwards drove a couple of phases around the corner that released an overlap opportunity for Hales old boy Luke Smith to score in the corner. The touch line conversion by Mitch McGahan reduced the arrears to 7-12. The time remaining in the half extended by several injuries belonged to Bourns as they took their total up to 33 points with tries by Tom Jarvis, two classic take and drive 5 metre line outs with veteran prop Tex Sigley touching down and flanker Rob Young peeling off a driving lineout. As Hales tried to get a score back, strong defence on half way forced a turnover and Drew Harper fed James Whybrow for an easy run in, so 33-12 to the home side at the break.
The second half saw Hales have several good spells of possession as they attempted to reduce their deficit, but the Bourns defence kept the blue and yellows at bay around the 22. A dropped ball on half way allowed James Whybrow another easy run in after 10 minutes of the re-start. As the final quarter began Bourns stretched the visitors and playing advantage the ball was spun back across the field for Jarvo to score his second. The whole back row had been at the center of most things during the game and flanker Jack Price scored an individual try displaying some nimble foot work followed by Woz Oliver taking a pass from the supporting Steve Handy to score out wide. With 7 excellent conversions from Mitch McGahan, the final score was 59-12. The positives are no further scores were conceded after 13 minutes, the line out was the best it's been so far this season testament to the defence and line out work put in by the forwards in training. The game was very loose and some aspects of our game management need some attention, but a morale boosting win to set the guys up for the first ever visit of Doncaster Phoenix next week as league action returns.
The new Hales team are work in progress and they showed a great team spirit with a young side who will reap the rewards as time goes by, but today the clinical finishing was the main difference between the two sides.
The back row did it for me today in both attack and defence and I award Rob Young, Jack Price and Drew Harper with the star men award.
Donald Trump is a genius, OJ Simpson is a legend and at no time were any concerns expressed on the touchline as to the result.
Sometimes my travels around the touchline work and I am in the right place at the right time. Sometimes not.
Take a look HERE for a few photos.
Sully - Bournville's always friendly (and free) photographer
15, Tom Jarvis, 14, Luke Smith, 13, James Whybrow, 12, James Hussey, 11, Woz Oliver, 10, Mitch McGahan, 9, Sam Brown, 8, Drew Harper, 7, Jack Price, 6, Rob Young, 5, Tom Holliday (capt), 4, Rich Corr, 3, Dan McCue, 2, Alex Willis, 1, Terry Sigley, 16, Sam Roe, 17, Steve Handy, 18, Alex Warner.