BOURNS ENJOY A TURN AROUND AND WIN, JUST...
BOURNVILLE 41 DERBY 37
Bourns welcomed Derby to Avery Fields on a sunny but windy afternoon. Both sides play on AGP surfaces, so a fast game was expected which didn't disappoint. Bourns reviewed what went wrong last time out and made some subtle changes in their line up missing several familiar names due to injury. Veteran front rower Tex Sigley moved to hooker and Sam Rowe made an earlier than expected return to tight head. Ejike Uzoigwe returned at number 8 and in the backs, Alton McVey moved to the right wing allowing Ollie Neill to return at 13.
Derby took to the field with a huge pack of forwards, but it was Bourns who made early in roads into the opposition half. After 7 minutes, some slick handling put flanker Angus Low into some space out wide on the 22 and he won the race to the corner. Bourns kept on the front foot playing territory and winning line out ball. An off the top ball saw a drive into the 22 and a Derby offside saw Rhys Harrhy slot the penalty for a deserved 8-0 lead as the second quarter beckoned.
Derby won the re-start and their forwards got rumbling for the first time in the match with their number 8 Luke Wilmott at the heart of the carrying. Bourns repelled for a while but the inevitable 2 yard crash saw a score which should have been converted but wasn't, a story that was to feature for Derby as the game unfolded. However Bourns kept the plan going and in open play, stand off Mitch McGahan saw a gap in the 10/12 channel, he went through and drew the full back for loose head James Burgoyne to walk in and open his try scoring account for the club. Rhys' conversion took the lead to 15-5. From the deep kick off, the backs had confidence to put some width on the ball. Centre Mark Coulson stepped inside a would be tackler and took play up to the opposition 22 and completed a perfect 2 on 1 pass to winger McVey to sprint in for his first score for the first team. More good news followed on 35 minutes when another off the top line out play saw the ball moved to the left and speedster Ethan Walker scored on the other wing again superbly converted by Rhys for a healthy 29-5 lead and the try bonus point. Derby didn't wilt and from a line out, Bourns were deemed to have collapsed the maul and playing advantage the ball was spun wide for a Derby try in the corner with an added yellow card for Tom Holliday.
So half time 29-10 to the good but a man down for 10 minutes...
This started the Derby revival as their forwards became more influential in open play coupled with a change in their backs allowing the 12 to be more at the heart of attacks and the speedy veteran winger coming on to pose new problems for the defence. Tex Sigley got frustrated at a maul and was yellow carded for some in correct use of the feet. With 13 players scores were almost guaranteed and Derby scored from a driving line out, however, Bourns played a kicking game and pressure on the fullback saw a loose kick which Bourns ran back and Eji found himself on the wing for a 20 meter sprint to the corner. So the score at that time was 34-15 with still 30 minutes to go.
Derby were knocking on the door as the previously mentioned 12 was getting past the gain line and off loading to the forwards. On 60 minutes Captain Steve Handy got a yellow for a red zone offence. The resulting line out was held up but Bourns were offside and playing advantage the stand off cross kicked for the winger to catch and score. Crucially the conversions weren't going over, but Derby were still scoring tries and on 66 minutes they clawed back to within one score as the backs combined for a decent score out wide.
Bourns won the kick off and for the first time in the half, the backs had some space. Mark Coulson cut the defence in two and fed full back Paul Sumner to brush off a tackle and score in the corner which Rhys converted making it 41-27 with 10 to go. The Bourns penalty count that had been good all day suddenly rose sharply. The Derby pack drove a line out and scored, which was compounded by some chat which handed the visitors a penalty on half way at the re-start. No surprise the line out option was chosen , but Eji stole it but the kick didn't make touch. Scramble defence prevented a try in the corner but Derby had a 5 meter line out as the last play. The drive was bound to come, but Eji lept like a salmon again and stole the ball. This time the ball reached touch and the whistle went.
Both defences will look at some of the tries that were conceded, but both sides scored some great tries as Derby outscored Bourns 7-6 on tries scored, but the better goal kicking made the difference in this game.
Star men were Mark Coulson and Ejike Uzoigwe, but hats off to the squad for responding well to last weeks loss at Burton.
Next up is an early kick off at 12.30 at Doncaster Phoenix which means an early start for the coach to South Yorkshire.
15, Paul Sumner, 14, Alton McVey, 13, Ollie Neill, 12, Mark Coulson, 11, Ethan Walker, 10, Mitch McGahan, 9, Rhys Harrhy, 8, Ejike Uzoigwe, 7, Angus Low, 6, Matt McKeown, 5, Tom Holliday, 4, Steve Handy (capt), 3, Sam Rowe, 2, Terry Sigley, 1, James Burgoyne, 16, Ian Coles, 17, Benedict Shimwell, 18, Lewis Webb.
A view from the side
I will always try to go with Mike's man of the match or 'star player' for the easily offended, where I can. Selecting two players makes things difficult. Pitchero doesn't seem to allow for added photos inside the text body so I am stuck with one photo. I could merge 2 photos but I wasn't prepared for it tonight. To be honest I think any player could have been chosen, but without Rhys Harrhy's mostly unerring boot we would have come up short, so I chose him for the main photo.
Is Saturday match time the signal for the locals to have garden bonfires? In my former profession I have been called out to tackle much smaller ones. Worth keeping an eye on? Well done the Derby supporters, from my view point, a vociferous but friendly bunch.
The grass is looking nice - almost ready to walk on - surely?
On to the photos - please take a look HERE for a reasonable collection. I particularly liked the Paul Sumner collection - the sheer joy of scoring.
Sully - Bournville's always friendly (and free) photographer - It's nice to see my little tag line quoted back on social media :)
Oh and a big 'Hi' to all my new friends on LinkedIn - I will get back to you as soon as I finish dealing with my other new friends, a few dozen Nigerian princes who need help moving their money :)