DEFEAT AT THE END OF THE REGULAR SEASON BUT ALL ROADS NOW LEAD TO THE PLAY-OFFS
BOURNVILLE 10 WORCESTER WANDERERS 19
First off congratulations to Bridgnorth RFC for securing the Midlands 1 West title and gaining promotion to National 3 Midlands next season.
Bourns final game in the regular season was against old friends Worcester Wanderers at Bournbrook. The sun was out and conditions were near perfect for rugby. Bourns rested several walking wounded but still fielded a more than capable 18. In the forwards Chris Morgan returned at 6. Tom Jarvis filled the fly-half birth leaving Chris Humphrey to slot in at 12 and Stefan Cooksammy returned to the wing. James Atkinson did well enough last time out to stay in the squad and their was a recall for back Gus Taylor.
Bourns started pretty strongly monopolising possession. The visitors committed several early offences at the break-down and as Bourns moved into the opposition 22 after 7 minutes, a Worcester player received a yellow card for a collection of team offences. Bourns made an error when attacking and from the Wanderers first venture into opposition territory a back foot offside allowed an easy three points. Bourns did however exert some pressure and a driving lineout saw number 8 Drew Harper touch down in the corner for a 5-3 lead. Bourns continued to commit offences whilst in possession as the tenacious defence forced tackled ball carriers to hang on a bit too long. The Wanderers kicker missed two penalties in quick succession as the game entered the second quarter but was successful with a third to re-capture the lead 6-5. A little bit of niggle had crept in and at a scrum on half way, Ash Knight reacted to something in the front row and his punch cost him his place on the field as a red card was produced. The visitors took advantage scoring a try out wide for the really tall left winger, for an 11-5 lead. Bourns had a go at a long range penalty with Sam Brown narrowly missing the up- rights, so no change in score at half time.
After the re-start Bourns still had difficulty re-cycling the ball and under pressure, a knock on at the break down bounced nicely for the alert flanker who re-acted the quickest and set up the winger to score in the corner. Despite being two scores down and a player down, Bourns pinned the visitors back. Only defiant defence prevented scores and when chances arrived, poor decision making blew a couple of opportunities. As the game entered the last minutes, Wanderers defence became desperate in the 22 and their penalty count started to go up. Two yellow cards, one for a back rower and one for the mischievous scrum half saw Bourns have a man advantage 14 against 13 for the final 10 minutes or so. From another driving lineout it was prop Paul Coles who ended up at the bottom for a score out wide. So with about 5 minutes to go a grandstand finish was on the cards. However it was the visitors who won another turnover penalty and the kick but the game out of reach with little time to play, so a 19-10 loss against a committed Worcester Wanderers outfit.
Every cloud has a silver lining though and despite a below par effort, Bourns can now look forward to a play-off match against Derby which will be played at Derby. Full details to follow on the website once the details are confirmed.
Not the quite the rugby jamboree we were expecting. A touch of deja vu from last week. Ended up feeling sorry for the ref.
Take a look HERE for a few photos. Camera mainly unused and hanging on its strap, as I watched in disbelief.
Team: 15, Paul Sumner, 14, Stefan Cooksammy, 13, James Whybrow, 12, Chris Humphrey, 11, Warren Oliver, 10, Tom Jarvis, 9, Sam Brown, 8, Drew Harper, 7, Bobbie Lawrenson, 6, Chris Morgan, 5, Steve Handy, 4, Rob Griffin, 3, Terry Sigley, 2, Ashley Knight, 1, Paul Coles, 16, Ian Coles, 17, James Atkinson, 18, Gus Taylor.