A BRIDGE TOO FAR AS BOURNS FALTER AGAINST BRIDGNORTH
BOURNVILLE 19 BRIDGNORTH 47
With the developments still unfinished at Bournbrook, Bournville continued to play home games at Metchley and welcomed Shropshire neighbours Bridgnorth for round 4 of this years Midlands Premier League programme. Some re-shuffling was required due to injury and unavailability, therefore Rich Corr was promoted to the starting second row and Jack Price returned to the flank after illness. In the backs, Mitch McGahan switched to 15 , Alex Warner returned to stand-off and Woz Oliver came back on the wing. Ash Knight, Rob Young and Joe Nellany made up a strong looking bench.
A windy yet sunny day greeted the players and the early exchanges were contained within the two 22's as the forwards tested each other out around the corner. Worryingly for Bourns, the line out showed no sign of improvement which turned out to be a great source of possession for the visitors throughout the game. After 6 minutes, forwards and backs combined to put the Bridgnorth full back in the corner for a converted score. The Bourn's scrum began to creek and after 18 minutes, the visitors got a shove on at a 5 meter scrum where the ball was kicked out the scrum as it wheeled giving the referee no choice but to award a penalty try. Bourns were unable to get any ball being forced to defend and scramble with centre Henry Hughes at the top of the tackle stats closely followed by Alex Warner. Another miss firing line out on 23 minutes coughed up possession in the Bourns 22 and after a few phases, the winger was put in on the right corner. It got worse after 31 minutes when from their own line out on halfway the Bridgnorth backs combined for the try of the game with some great off loading with the 13 finishing off the move for a 26-0 lead.
A mountain to climb then and finally Bourns won a line out and both the backs and forwards created some space for Alex Warner to finish the move which he converted to reduce the arrears to 7-26 which ended the first half.
The bench was emptied and Bourns looked a different outfit as they finally got some phases going and drove at the visitors line with both centres, Henry Hughes and James Hussey going close. The substitute Bridgnorth flanker was rather late on a challenge on Warner after 43 minutes and the visitors were reduced to 14 for 10 minutes. An easy 3 points was on offer , but playing catch up, the ball was run only for a knock on, on the try line. With still no regular possession at the set piece, Bourns ran everything and the backs did have some success and pressed several times only for the visitor's defence to stand firm. After 68 minutes there was no addition to the score and when Bourns knocked on just a few meters out, North ran it out and their scrum half who was man of the match showed great poise and feet skill to score from some distance out. Two minutes later the scrum half was at it again making a line break to increase the lead to 40-7.
All that remained was to try and score three tries for a try bonus point and that nearly happened. On 72 minutes Mitch McGahan fielded a loose kick out of defence and threaded his way through would be tacklers for a fine individual try converted by Warner. From the kick off Bourns ran it back from deep and after several phases a cross kick wasn't dealt with and wing James Whybrow fell on the loose ball taking the home side up to 19. However, The North forwards had the last say as they wound down the clock and after several forward drives the second row flopped over from close range and with the touch line conversion, the final whistle went for a convincing Bridgnorth victory who will surely move up the table quickly following that performance.
No set piece, then you can't win games and the guys up front need to fix the line out issues as a priority which they will...
Star man was centre Henry Hughes who was a shining light in defence and attack in a losing cause. This leaves the team in 7th place on 10 points, now 10 points behind the top two Newport Salop and Peterborough Lions who are unbeaten and scoring tries for fun with Bham Bees right behind just one point adrift and also unbeaten.
It's back on the road next week as we travel on the A38 to face Derby who are equal on points with Bourns.
Photos of the match HERE
15, Mitch McGahan, 14, James Whybrow, 13, Henry Hughes, 12, James Hussey, 11, Woz Oliver, 10, Alex Warner, 9, Sam Brown (capt), 8, Drew
Harper, 7, Ned Partridge, 6, Jack Price, 5, Steve Handy, 4, Rich Corr, 3, Terry Sigley, 2, Alex Willis, 1, Paul Coles, 16, Ash Knight, 17, Joe Nellany, 18, Rob Young.