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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 24 Mar 15:00 - Midlands Division - Midlands Premier Full time



Bourns were looking for a reaction from the previous week's disappointing result, and it duly came in a pulsating game against Nuneaton where the result was in doubt right until the end. In terms of team news, there were two changes in the forwards where Sam Rowe returned on the tight head and Steve Smith got the nod for the starting berth in the engine room leaving Steve Handy to play at 6. Mitch McGahan returned at 9 allowing Alex Warner to return to his preferred stand off spot. Luke Smith came in on the wing with James Hussey moving to the bench with Rich Corr and Tex Sigley.

Bourns monopolised possession early on gaining some early penalties as the pressure was exerted at scrum time. Good field position and a solid line out saw the forwards hammering at the gain line with the whole back row and hooker James Weaver proving difficult to handle. After 10 minutes, Bourns shoved Nuns off their scrum on half way and the quick ball, saw the backs take possession into the 22. Jarvo fielded a slightly misplaced pass and had the legs to get in at the corner for a deserved score. However from the kick off, a wayward clearance kick invited the counter attack with their left wing making too much ground for comfort. The forwards carried to the line for the prop to crash over and with the conversion, Nuns took a lead 8-7.

Another scrum penalty gave Warner a chance 35 meters out which was stroked over. As the second quarter began, Nuns found some rhythm orchestrated by the scrum half, but another poor kick compounded by some missed tackles allowed the center to score from some distance out and with the easy extras, Nuns held a 14-8 lead. Not to be out done, Bourns took the re-start and whilst a penalty advantage was being played, Warner decided to take a drop goal off his wrong foot and you guessed it, it went over to reduce the arrears by three.

On 30 minutes, Nuns profited again from a wayward kick and the fast winger got behind the gain line and a couple of off loads saw the supporting number 8 in at the posts, 21-11 down. As half time approached, Bourns were guilty of not rolling away allowing a penalty to see Nuns lead 24-11 at the break. Un-forced errors were costing points and it was disappointing to see some great play not rewarded and spoiled.

What ever was said at half time did the trick as Bourns came out all guns blazing putting immediate pressure hammering at the Nuns try line. On 49 minutes number 8 Drew Harper burrowed his way over from close range and with Warner kicking well, reduced the arrears to 6. From the kick off Bourns scored again when Nuns failed to deal with an excellent box kick from Mitch that landed on half way. James Hussey with his first touch got to the ball first and fed Luke Smith who used his pace on the outside and scored and with the extras, Bourns had a one point lead. Both sides continued to attack and both defences suddenly improved, but another not rolling away penalty allowed a 3 pointer for Nuns to regain the lead by 2.

Bourns pressure led to the try bonus score on 65 minutes when the backs created a chance for Luke Smith to score again in the corner, so Bourns in the lead again 30-27. Nuns never looked out of it and following a scrum on the 22, they created a chance on the short side and the 12 took an offload off the nine and Nuns led again 34-30. Bourns threw the sink as Nuns were now offending with regularity at the break down. As time went into added time, Bourns had an attacking line out on 5 meters. The initial drive was held, but Bourns re-grouped and the 6 came in from the side to collapse as Bourns were about to touch down and the referee went straight under the posts for the penalty try giving the lead to Bourns 37-34.

With 15 seconds left, Bourns won a turn over penalty. It was decided to do a quick tap, set a ruck up and kick the ball out. 14 of the team got it, but Mitch didn't get the message and tapped and kicked into touch, which allowed Nuns a line out and one more chance to snatch a win. They won the ball but got turned over and with the last pass of the match, Luke nearly got his hat trick but was bundled into touch at the corner flag and picked up an injury which will see his season over, which was a sad note to end on, but Bourns got over the line in a 100% plus better performance taking 5 points. A great game for the neutral and both sides contributed to a very good open game aided by some decent officiating by the referee.

A look at the other results saw Lichfield, Longton and Newbold all lose meaning Bourns are nearly assured of a place in this league. The next round of games after Easter should see Bourns mathematically safe according to if we win at already relegated Halesonians( who will be massively up for it), and the fact Lichfield and Longton play each other.

Drew and Eji were great in attack and defence, but star man is hooker James Weaver who carried for many yards sucking in defenders which created space for the backs.

15, Paul Sumner, 14, Luke Smith, 13, Mark Coulson, 12, Tom Jarvis, 11, Warren Oliver, 10, Alex Warner, 9, Mitch McGahan, 8, Drew Harper, 7, Ejiki Uzoigwe, 6, Steve Handy, 5, Tom Holliday (capt), 4, Steve Smith, 3, Sam Rowe, 2, James Weaver, 1, Alex Willis, 16, Terry Sigley, 17, Rich Corr, James Hussey.

From the Photo Man

It was like an episode from The Chuckle Brothers, 'To you, to me, to you, to me.'
Not sure who the Chuckle Brothers are? I think George is the president of the fan club, so ask for a dvd, I hear that he has the set.

Sunday was a better day for the light but take a look HERE for a few photos of the match.

Sully - Bournville's always friendly (and free) photographer

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley 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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