TIMELY WIN BOOSTS BOURNS
BOURNVILLE 30 LICHFIELD 14
It was "le crunch" time at Bournbrook as Lichfield were the visitors to play out a fixture where the winners could breath slightly easier, but know there was still work to do to avoid the drop during the final 8 games of the season.
Steady drizzle fell for most of the game which quickened up the artificial pitch, so all was set for an exciting game.
Bourns still have front row issues with two hookers and two props out injured. Loan signing Jonah Boyce had his agreement extended and new signing James Weaver made a hastily arranged debut at hooker. Tom Holliday returned to captain the side from the second row was the only other pack change. The backs picked themselves with Alex Warner returning at 10 and Mitch McGahan continuing to ply a new trade at 9.
To the game then. The first scrum saw Bourns shove back the Lichfield 8 from just inside their half up to the 22. The Lich front row stood up and crabbed giving away the penalty which Warner coolly converted from the 15 metre line 30 meters out. Bourns controlled the early stages with strong carries around the corner by the forwards with Drew Harper, James Weaver and Jonah Boyce excelling getting past the gain line. The backs had front foot ball and an attack led to cynical play by a Lichfield forward at the break down which saw a simple 3 points for Warner and a yellow card for the Lichfield player after 10 minutes.
From the kick off, confusion in the call saw a Bourns knock on. Lichfield scrambled the ball away for the retreating scrum and Bourns put a hand in the ruck. A kick to the corner saw Lichfield attempt a 5 meter catch and drive, but it was repelled only for the hooker to crash over at speed for a try after 14 minutes, which saw the visitors take a 7-6 lead with the conversion. After 19 minutes another scrum penalty saw Warner kick the points to restore a 9-7 lead. Bourns were getting good line out off the top ball which gave the backs a chance to create an attack. Having opted to scrum a 5 metre penalty, the shove was held and a ropey pass was flung out. The attack seemed doomed but Warner, using his football skills hacked the ball from the ground to the opposite wing where make shift winger James "Ako" Atkinson was waiting to gather to score a well deserved try, kicked by Warner, so 16-7 after 25 minutes. Lichfield were forced to run the ball from deep and were well marshaled until they created a line break and a last ditch tackle prevented a certain score. Bourns re grouped and after 35 minutes, a steady scrum and lots of off the ball movement saw centre Mark Coulson cut a great line that opened up the defence for a score under the posts making it 23-7 at the break.
The second half was a tight affair with both sides attacks being met with resolute defence. Neither side could get into the 22's of their opponents. The first scoring opportunity came from a penalty attempt after 75 minutes by Warner but the kick faded wide. Bourns then found themselves for the first time in the Lichfield 22 and they forced a 5 meter scrum. The forwards duly delivered a controlled drive and Drew Harper capped his good work with a push over try converted by Warner for a 30-7 lead on 78 minutes. Bourns searched for the try bonus score, but it was Lichfield who scored deep into injury time with the last play of the game to make the final score 30-14.
Bourns did all the basics well this week with a much improved kicking game and defensive effort. The forwards were dominant in the tight and forced Lichfield to chase the game from deep positions. Star man was number 8 Drew Harper who carried many yards during the game. Next week is a rest week as other teams begin a catch up program on games lost to the weather. All eyes will be on the Longton result next week as they play in form Scunthorpe before we visit Longton the week after for another crunch 6 pointer. Bourns now lie 10th 9 points ahead of Longton who lie in the third relegation place.
The Photo man
Please take a goosey, goosey HERE for a few photos of the game.
The performance of the pack in the 1st half was immense.
Apparently the backs find it easier to attack .
Must be true then.