SOME IMPROVEMENT BUT BOURNS COME AWAY WITH NOTHING AT DERBY
DERBY 35 BOURNVILLE 14
Persistent rain greeted both teams as Bourns visited Derby on a very dull afternoon in East Midlands. Once again changes had to be made due to
injury and unavailability, but this was cushioned by the return of others. In the backs, Tom Jarvis and Luke Smith filled two of the back three positions, with James Whybrow moving inwards into outside centre due to Henry Hughes having to work. Mitch McGahan was preferred at stand off with Alex Warner reverting to the bench. In the forwards, Dan McCue made his first start at tight head, with Tex Sigley moving to loose and Paul Coles to the bench. The other replacement was Jack Price.
Bourns received the kick off and dealt with it putting up the box kick, however the ball was moved straight to the robust Derby number 8 who got past the gain line and two phases later, the short side was exploited by the center who fed a supporting flanker for the opening score inside a minute, converted for a 7-0 Derby lead. However Bourns responded well and put some phases together and almost scored in the corner when a last ditch tackle forced wing Woz Oliver into touch just short of the line.
The line out was going reasonably well after the work put in at training during the week and the scrum had parity against the experienced Derby front row. The difference between the sides was the Derby forwards were able to make yards on the carry with all their forwards being involved, whilst it was the same three Bournville forwards carrying but being met with a much more aggressive defence. There was no further scoring until the 26th minute when a Derby penalty was kicked to the corner. The classic take and drive line out resulted with a penalty try being awarded for collapsing the maul with winger Woz Oliver deemed responsible and receiving the yellow card. The Bourns 14 defended well whilst down a man and no scores were forthcoming, but when back to 15, Bourns moved play to half way, the box kick wasn't the best and the Derby backs carved out a 2 on 1 for the winger to score under the posts which proved the last play of the half and a 21 -0 deficit to ponder which was a little harsh on Bourns.
The first 25 minutes or so of the second half, Bourns responded well and had plenty of ball with Harper at the front of the carrying duties. Pressure was exerted and following a driven line out and a couple of phases, the short side was exploited for James Hussey to put in James Whybrow in the corner after 47 minutes, well converted by Mitch McGahan from the corner. Bourns continued the good work and after some great play by wing Woz Oliver who initially gathered a testing box kick and skillfully created some space and barged his way past would be defenders to set up a ruck that was quickly re-cycled for James Hussey to cross the white wash. Alex Warner kicked the conversion, but Woz had to leave the field after a clash of heads during his bulldozing run, but with 14 minutes to go Bourns were within striking distance at 21-14 down.
Unfortunately, the Derby forwards changed gears and they used a series of narrow forward drives to muscle over for two scores to take the game away from Bourns, so a final score of 35-14 to the hosts.
The video doesn't lie and some issues need repairing quickly to ensure the team remain competitive this season. The guys know what is required... Star man was number 8 Drew Harper who continually took the game to the opposition with flanker Rob Young close behind for his tackle count and Woz Oliver for his general play.
Next week sees a break in league action as the North Midlands Cup Quarter Finals take center stage with a repeat of last year's final as old rivals Old Halesonians visit the university. The game will once again be played at Metchley Park Road due to pitch developments over running on the Bournbrook site.
15, Tom Jarvis, 14, Luke Smith, 13, James Whybrow, 12, James Hussey, 11, Woz Oliver, 10, Mitch McGahan, 9, Sam Brown (capt), 8, Drew Harper, 7, Ned Partridge, 6, Rob Young, 5 Rich Corr, 4, Steve Handy, 3, Dan McCue, 2, Alex Willis, 1, Terry Sigley, 16, Paul Coles, 17, Alex Warner, 18, Jack Price.