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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 17 Feb 14:15 - Midlands Division - Midlands Premier Full time



Another 6 pointer of a game as Bourns visited Longton as both sides were looking for points to distance themselves from the relegation places in the highly competitive Midlands Premier League. Bourns made two enforced changes in the pack as firstly veteran loose head Paul Coles started along with veteran flanker Matt Dickerson starting at 6. In the backs Woz Oliver was fit to return on the wing to replace the unwell Luke Smith. Front rower Alex Willis recovered from his niggle and was fit enough to bench along with Rich Corr and James Atkinson covering a number of positions.

The mayhem started from the off as Bourns appeared to be still on the M6 as Longton racked up 26 un-answered points in the first 20 minutes. Whilst Longton showed good ball retention and accurate passing in the backs, Bourns were guilty of no line speed and several first up missed tackles that allowed the home team plenty of space and time to organise their attacks resulting in 4 tries of which 3 were converted. In between the Longton kicker missed a fairly simple penalty in front of the posts which would have made matters worse.

There was no discord among the ranks and finally Bourns started to win some ball. Every time Bourns put width on the ball, they looked dangerous. On 23 minutes Bourns created a chance following some fine ball carrying by the forwards, in particular number 8 Drew Harper who was at it all day. The ball was moved quickly and center Henry Hughes fixed the final defender to put James Whybrow in at the corner. A fine touch line conversion from Warner made it 26-7. Bourns continued to win plenty of ball and on 29 minutes, they stole a line out in the Longton 22. The ball was moved to Henry Hughes who took a miss pass and proceeded to side step his way under the posts for a converted score to make it 26-14. Bourns continued to press against the wind and slope and as the half was about to end, they drove a line out fully 20 meters to the try line but were held up. After a horror show for the first quarter, Bourns had played their way back into contention and with the elements and slope to come in their favour, there was hope.

The second half started and Bourns continued to dominate possession. Drew Harper out ran the defence after 44 minutes and quick re-cycling saw full back Jarvo in at the corner. The conversion just missed but Bourns had now clawed back 19 points and were within a score. However Bourns returned to old habits making several un-forced which allowed Longton to kick start their game. Bourns were out jumped at a kick off
which allowed the bulky forwards to drive for the line and crash over. Bourns lost a line out in the opposition 22 and allowed the stand off a 60 meter run before the ball was recycled and a fine off load by the second row to the winger saw a score. The line out misfired again and the Longton forwards drove again, all meaning after 58 minutes, Longton had once again galloped ahead to lead 43-19.

Coach Dean Lewis responded with 3 changes at once and this seemed to breath some extra energy into the side as all three made an impact, particularly young flanker James Atkinson who tackled well and made several carries. As the final quarter began, Henry Hughes rounded off a great team try 43-24. The backs looked like they could score at any time and sure enough, center Mark Coulson cut a line to touch down under the sticks 43-31. A sweeping move saw Jarvo in at the corner once again converted from out wide. 43-38. Longton then had some pressure and had a penalty which whilst not a "gimmy" was kickable, but they chose to run it and made a hash of it. Then on 70 minutes Mark Coulson was taken out illegally by the Longton winger who got a yellow card for his trouble. Bourns kicked into the 22. The line out was won and Bourns played the numbers game and put it through the hands to Henry Hughes who really ought to have passed to others outside but he stepped in side and had the strength to reach for the try for his hat trick. Warner's conversion saw Bourns take the lead 45-43 completing a remarkable comeback having been 26-0 and 43-19 down during the match.

More drama followed in the last 5 minutes as Longton laid siege on the Bournville try line. Ironically it was a massive defensive effort repelling drive after drive as the Longton forwards tried to muscle their way over before the Longton forwards were penalised as Bourns were about to turn the ball over to a massive cheer from the travelling Bourns support. The Longton fly half was sin-binned for too many words of advice, but there was still time left and Bourns had to manage a final line out on their 10 meter line. The line out was secured and another Longton transgression meant that was it and Bourns had risen from the ashes to claim a remarkable victory and take 5 valuable points which will really help the cause in securing their Midland Premier status. Bourns lie 10th 12 points ahead of Longton who occupy the 3rd relegation spot in 12th.

No prizes for what is on the agenda for training this week, but the guys and the coach for his substitutions, must take some credit for digging themselves out of a massive hole twice and winning the game which had everything. Next up it's the re-scheduled home fixture with league leaders Birmingham Bees at Bournbrook kicking off at 3pm.

This weeks star player was Drew Harper who was a constant threat in the loose and led the defensive effort.

Team :
15, Tom Jarvis, 14, James Whybrow, 13, Henry Hughes, 12, Mark Coulson, 11, Warren Oliver, 10 Alex Warner, 9, Mitch McGahan, 8, Drew Harper, 7, Ejike Uzoigwe, 6, Matt Dickerson, 5, Tom Holliday (capt), 4, Steve Smith, 3, Terry Sigley, 2, James Weaver, 1, Paul Coles, 16, Alex Willis, 17, Rich Corr, 18, James Atkinson.

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – December: Old Hales RFC

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Midlands Premier results



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League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Derby 26 69
9. Nuneaton 26 63
10. Bournville 26 60
11. Lichfield 26 48
12. Newbold on Avon 26 43
13. Longton 26 38
14. Old Halesonians 26 10

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