BOURNS RISE FROM THE ASHES TO BEAT DONCASTER PHOENIX
BOURNVILLE 34 DONCASTER PHOENIX 29
Shirt sleeve order was the order of the day on a sunny and warm autumnal day at Metchley Park. Bourns welcomed for the first time ever a very young and fit Doncaster Phoenix side for week six of the league programme. There was just one enforced change from last weeks cup win as center James Hussey was unavailable, so Tom Jarvis slotted in at 13, with Alex Warner moving to full back. Young prop Sam Roe retained his place on the bench and Mark Coulson also sat on the bench covering the backs.
It was clear from the start that Donny wanted to play at a fast pace and run the ball at every opportunity. Doncaster attacked first and span the ball wide in Bourns 22, but after 2 minutes wing Luke Smith anticipated a long ball wide and grabbed the pill and sprinted in from 75 mitres to the corner for an early score for a 5-0 lead. However Donny won the re-start and ran some phases close to the posts. The Bourns backs were up quick, but a neat chip saw the ball bounce favourably for the Donny right wing to gather and run round for the simple conversion for Donny to take a 7-5 advantage. Flanker Jack Price suffered an ankle injury and Steve Handy filled unfamiliar territory at 6 but played with distinction.
On 11 minutes Bourns had a scrum on half way which was the first one of the match. The strike was so clean and quick that the ball came back at a rate of knots and squirted out. Rob Young got to the ball first, but the Donny scrum half read the intended pass to Sam Brown and he sped off up the pitch as Bourns were left flat footed and he scored in the corner, Donny now up to 12. Worse was to follow as from the kick off, Bourns box kicked to half way, but the chase wasn't quick enough allowing the speedy winger to get up to pace and poor first up tackling and a parting of the Bournville waves allowed a 50 metre kick return under the posts, so after 14 minutes, Bourns were in arrears at 5-19.
Bourns responded well and the forwards started to get around the corner and put the Donny defence to the test. The official was hot on the break down all day and Bourns forced a penalty into the corner on 23 minutes. The line out has been improving of late and the classic take and drive was deployed for prop Dan McCue to touch down with the help of the 7 forwards in the corner to reduce the arrears to 10-19.
Play was fairly even for a period, but Bourns poor tackling in midfield off a standard first phase 12 channel from a line out on half way, made it easy for a 2 on 1 for the other center to score under the posts to return the lead to 16 points at 26-10 after 31 minutes. Bourns ramped it up for the remaining minutes of the half. Donny were regularly offending and the second row made it easy for the referee to show a yellow for some cynical play 5 metres out taking one for the team. Bourns opted to scrum and were held over the line. Another scrum saw Sam Brown work a move with Drew Harper off the base and he just about stretched over the line to put downward pressure on the ball. Mitch McGahan kicked from the corner as the half time whistle went with the arrears reduced to 9 for a Donny lead 26-17.
From the re-start Bourns then bossed the game for the next 35 minutes as they starved Donny of possession and relentlessly put phase after phase together with the forwards "up"ing their game carrying the contest to Donny with strong runs from Drew Harper, Dan McCue and Tom Holliday. The Donny forwards were not pleasing the official at the break down and conceded several penalties. After 55 minutes Drew Harper drove over from a 5 meter scrum making it 24-26. Bourns then pounded the Donny try line and were were held up 3 times over the line as the forwards piled in. It may be when "Sully" posts his photo's there will be evidence of a try, but it wasn't awarded, however there was a high tackle and a yellow for the Donny number 8 on 70 minutes. Calmness personified, Mitch placed the ball on the 15 metre line about 20 metres out to the right and it flew over, so Bourns had turned over a 16 point deficit and re gained the lead for the first time since the second minute at 27-26.
Cue the Donny kitchen sink and Bourns were encamped in their 22 for the first time in the second half. Donny span it wide and in a carbon copy of the first half, Luke Smith intercepted again and sprinted the 75 metres to the posts which gave Bourns a cushion of 8 points 34-26. Donny won the re-start and moved into the 22. With 3 minutes left, Bourns were offside at a ruck out wide. Donny chose to kick at goal and a fine kick out wide reduced to it to 5. Back they came again and play moved into the 22. Donny flung out one too many passes and the ball crossed the touch line. The final whistle was sounded to a roar of approval from the home support and the players who had dug one out taking 5 unlikely points to boot..
Bourns played their game of phase play and managed the game superbly. Donny may rue their running at all costs game,when at times territory was a better option, but full credit most go to Bourns for securing their first line defence after some shoddy work to probably playing their best phase game for some time putting pressure on the opposition and not panicking despite being 16 points adrift.
Star men this week were Drew Harper and Dan McCue for their relentless running and carrying that lay the platform for the team to rise up from the ashes.
Next week, Bourns travel along the A38 to near neighbour's Lichfield who had had an indifferent start to their campaign.
Well this picking 2 players as 'man of the match' causes me a few problems when it comes to selecting the cover photo. I will address this problem later.
Never was I so sure that Bournville would win this one. I even emailed Mick to ask for the best place to stand to capture the multiple tries that we were destined to score. Others were muttering 'Groundhog Day' repeatedly. Shame on them.
What a great film Liar, Liar is - just watched it again on the telly.
If a picture is worth a 1000 words you will find 52,000 HERE.
Oh yes MIck I did capture the ' none try', not scored at 16.19hrs. To avoid mistaking it for the try that was allowed in the fantastic pressure we sustained for about 2 days I have clearly labelled it. Sometimes I am in the right place - blah blah blah.
Have a nice day - see you at Lichfield.
Looked for a joint MOM photo with no joy so I decided to put my name up in lights for a change! ( took me 20 mins to identify the correct font as MISTRAL REGULAR) Enjoy.
Sully - Bournvilles always friendly (and free) photographer
15, Alex Warner, 14, Luke Smith, 13, James Whybrow, 12, Tom Jarvis, 11, Woz Oliver, 10, Mitch McGahan, 9, Sam Brown, 8, Rob Young,
7, James Price, 6, Drew Harper, 5, Tom Holliday (capt), 4, Rich Corr, 3, Dan McCue, 2, Alex Willis, 1, Terry Sigley, 16, Sam Roe, 17, Steve Handy, 18, Mark Coulson.