BOURNS UNABLE TO STOP THE ROT IN A CLOSE ENCOUNTER AT AVERYFIELDS
BOURNVILLE 17 SANDBACH 22
Bourns welcomed our good friends Sandbach from the leafy suburbs of Cheshire for round 11 of Midlands Premier. It's so tight from 7th to 12th positions where a win moves you to 7th and a defeat puts you in the third relegation place, such is the strength of this years league standard. There was one change in the forwards from last time out where Rich Corr came into the second row. In the backs Paul Sumner returned to the right wing leaving Jordy Hopp to move into 13. On the bench, flanker Jonjo Fanning returned from injury.
The first half saw a dominant performance from the visitors both in scrum and line out. Bourns hardly had any set piece to work with, but were very proactive at the break down, where the ball was shipped to the backs at every opportunity. The first 10 minutes was all Sandbach, but Bourns showed much improved resilience in defence. Bourns cleared their lines with a turnover and the kick found the opposition full back in his 22. Some kick chase pressure resulted in a loose kick to half way which was run back with interest and winger Ethan Walker ghosted past his opposite number on the outside for a score under the posts 7-0.
Consistent pressure was being applied by the Sandbach forwards at scrum time resulting in balls against the head or penalties. Sandbach replied when they messed up a scrum and the ball went wide to the right winger who showed pace and strength to break a couple of tackles to score in the corner. 7-5. Bourns were still having to defend deep and on 29 minutes, loose head James Burgoyne saw a yellow for the Bourns scrum conceding too many penalties. However great line speed and pressure resulted in an interception on half way. Jordy Hopp almost got there but a fine offload to supporting centre John Hargreaves saw him score under the sticks for his first try for the club, so 14-5. It was Bourns who pressured the Sandbach line in the dying embers of the first half, but Sandbach held out benefiting from the officials interpretation at the break down, so from hardly having any ball, Bourns led 14-5 at the break.
The first score was always going to be crucial in the second half in terms of momentum. Both sides tried to force the issue attempting "magic offloads" and a lot of rugby was played between the 22's mainly due to neither side being able to kick for position effectively. Sandbach got that first score early on when they ran back a poor clearance kick for the centre to score 14-12. Bourns started to keep their scrum ball a bit easier and saw a lot of general possession, but were unable to penetrate the Sandbach wall. A rarity saw a missed penalty by Rhys Harrhy but he soon made amends with another to increase the lead to 17-12. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Sandbach worked a well drilled 5 meter line out to score in the corner which was well converted as they took the lead for the first time in the match. A high tackle soon after saw a penalty increase the lead to 22-17, which is the way it ended as Sandbach game managed the final minutes.
Bourns had chances but couldn't take them and they now slip into the uncomfortable area of the table, but all to play for.
Ethan Walker was star man, both in attack and defence.
Next up, the long haul trip to second placed Scunthorpe.
Team : 15, Mark Coulson, 14, Paul Sumner, 13, Jordy Hopp, 12, John Hargreaves, 11, Ethan Walker, 10, Mitch McGahan, 9, Rhys Harrhy, 8, Ejike Uzoigwe, 7, Angus Low, 6, Ben Shimwell, 5, Rich Corr, 4, Steve Handy (capt), 3, Sam Rowe, 2, Jamie White, 1, James Burgoyne, 16, Terry Sigley, Jonjo Fanning, 18, Ollie Leigh.