BOURNS SO CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
BOURNVILLE 32 NEWPORT SALOP 39
A pulsating game of rugby that had everything from great team tries, some pretty average play, and some injuries for both sides to deal with which meant the final result was in the balance right until the end.
Newport Salop were the visitors who were looking to at least keep hold of second place in the highly competitive league that is Midlands Premier. The wind had died down some what, but a gloomy sky greeted the players as the Averyfields floodlights were deployed from the off.
The Bourns backs had a personnel change as player coach Mitch McGahan returned at stand off after illness allowing Mark Coulson to return to 12. In the forwards there were issues in the front row due to a mounting injury list, therefore Birmingham Moseley prop Tom Fidler made his loan debut at tight head. Captain Steve Handy was unavailable, so Matt McKeown moved into the row allowing Jonjo Fanning to return on the flank. Centre John Hargreaves returned to the bench after his injury lay off.
To the game then and the tempo was set from the start with play going from end to end early on. Newport included plenty of Shropshire beef in the forwards, but Bourns weren't giving an inch. On 6 minutes, Bourns stole a line out in Newport's 22. The ball was slickly moved across the back line with a dummy run creating some space for right wing James Whybrow who got his off-load off to the supporting Mark Coulson for a score in the corner, expertly converted by Rhys Harrhy playing against his old club. Bourns kept the pressure on and forced a penalty for mid field offside which Rhys stroked over for a 10-0 lead on 15 minutes.
Bourns had difficulty securing kick off returns most of the game. Newport secured the loose ball and used their forwards to hammer for the line, when they got close. The second row scored from close range as the first quarter ended but there was a suspicion of at least two knock on's in the build up and Bourns felt there was double movement, but the score stood. Newport's talisman centre Henry Vaka was starting to come more and more into the game making some great line breaks thwarted only by the back tracking Ethan Walker. With the danger averted Bourns went back up the pitch and forced a knock on. The scrum was solid, Mitch McGahan spotted a gap on the blind side after the first phase and a pin point chip saw flanker Angus Low take the kick and pass inside to Ethan under the posts for a 17-5 lead. However, Bourns couldn't deal with the re-start which saw some strong mid field runs leading to Vaka scoring his usual try under the posts, 17-12.
Newport had some ascendancy which resulted in a try on 30 minutes after a trade mark Vaka break which lead to the forwards crashing over again for them to lead by 2 at 19-17. Undeterred, Bourns bounced back with Rhys Harrhy causing havoc sniping around the base. A high tackle in the 22 allowed him to convert for a 20-19 advantage, but on half time, Bourns conceded another late score. Ethan had to take a team yellow but was man handled by the opposition which caused a bit of a skirmish. No problem with the yellow, but I had a problem with the afters which went unpunished. Newport kicked to the corner and a clever line out move caught Bourns napping and the prop crashed over, so a slender 4 point lead at the break to the visitors 24-20. Time to report on the injury count as Bourns had lost both flankers, and as the second half started, the influential Vaka hobbled off.
Errors were creeping into the play of both sides, but sandwiched in between was some great play by both sides as teams both went in search of more tries. With Ethan still in the bin, Bourns produced a fantastic team try having kept possession for several minutes and Mark Coulson bagged his second score. 25-24. Once again the re start was problematic for Bourns and after some phases the full back restored the visitors lead 29-25. There then followed some incredible passages of play from both sides that deserved scores, it was a missed tackle though on 55 minutes that lead to Newport stretching their lead as the winger benefited. This was quickly followed by a Newport penalty as the game entered the final quarter with Newport now leading 39-25, but there was still more drama to come.
On 65 minutes, hooker Tex Sigley got a yellow for a professional off side offence, which conceded scrum possession to the visitors. When he returned the forwards made a monumental effort and were rewarded with their 4th try as Tom Fidler powered over under the posts on 75 minutes to make it 32-39. Bourns could have drawn it twice as firstly Mark Coulson just failed in the corner and after a great break from Jordy Hop, the winger just got a tap tackle in with Jordy falling just short of the line. Bourns tried to muscle over in the dying moments but the defence could not be breached and Newport breathed a heavy sigh of relief as they got the win, just.
A great game to watch and both sides contributed to a great spectacle. Bourns take two hard earned points against one of the favourites for promotion and ironically jump up two places in the league to 7th heading a list of 4 teams all on 21 points.
Several contenders for star man, but playing his best game since joining the club is scrum half Rhys Harrhy.
League action returns in two weeks as Bourns visit Nuneaton with a 2.15 kick off at Liberty Way
15, Paul Sumner, 14, James Whybrow, 13, Jordy Hop, 12, Mark Coulson, 11, Ethan Walker, 10, Mitch McGahan, 9, Rhys Harrhy, 8, Ejike Uzoigwe, 7, Angus Low, 6, Jonjo Fanning, 5, Tom Holliday (capt), 4, Matt McKeown, 3, Tom Fidler, 2, Tex Sigley, 1, James Burgoyne, 16, Scott Rudge, 17, Ben Shimwell, 18, John Hargreaves.
Firstly, I didn't write the match report, but I needed to upload the photos today. This statement will make sense once Mike adds his match report and my little piece is relegated to the bottom of the page.
It was a cracking game with 2 good points earned for Bournville, but Newport (Salop) would have to admit they had to play their 'get out of jail' card.
As the days grow shorter the 3pm kick off time causes serious light problems, but I turned the wick up on my camera and managed to squeeze out a few shots. It looks like a photo shoot day for James Whybrow, as he appears in some form in at least 10 photos, but I can only take what I see.
To the older Bournville supporter and ex players- I am trying to collect as many 'old' photos of the teams that I can. I will scan, edit and publish them on Flickr as well as on the new Facebook page set up by Steve Hinton.
With light once again being my excuse, there are only 36 photos to take a look at by clicking HERE
Sully - Bournville's always friendly (and free) photographer