STORMING SECOND HALF ALMOST CAPTURES THE POINTS AGAINST THE STEELERS
BOURNVILLE 12 SHEFFIELD 17
Bourns welcomed South Yorkshire side Sheffield to Averyfields to play a fixture for the first time. The weather was at best murky with a wind that couldn't make its mind which way to blow. Add in intermittent heavy rain showers and you get the picture.
Bourns welcomed back centres Mark Coulson and Henry Hughes allowing Jordy Hop to return to the wing. Just two changes in the pack, both in the front row where hookers Jamie White and James Weaver swapped over as did tight heads Sam Roe and Terry Sigley.
Sheffield turned up with a huge pack and it was clear they intended to try and grind the Bourns pack down with close quarter play around the ruck area with a pick and drive game and driving from set piece play. The game was stop start early on as the scrum was messy with many free kicks given and re-starts. Bourns couldn't really get near the visitors line out, but the Bourns' line out was secure and allowed some attacks from the backs. On 10 minutes, the visitors used their backs for the first time and a chip through along the floor saw the ball bounce nicely for the flanker to gather and score in the corner. Bourns responded well and after a quick tap was not allowed to progress, the giant loose head of Sheffield saw yellow for the cynical play. Bourns drove at the line, but the defence was good and some would say illegal and the chance slipped away with a turner over penalty.
On 24 minutes, the visitors scored again with a text book scrum drive, number 8 pick up to the 9 who off loaded to the centre to score. The extras were added for a 12-0 lead. Bourns kept the visitors at bay right until half time. The steelers drove a line out and the bulk advantage saw a score in the corner, so the visitors held a handy 17-0 lead.
Bourns made changes at the break and the bench was emptied which resulted in a great turn around as the scrum pressure transferred to the Sheffield pack which saw the home back get front foot ball. The backs probed and only scramble defence prevented a score, but Bourns were rewarded on 45 minutes when line speed pressure caused a wayward clearance kick, a quick ruck and suddenly there was space and an overlap opportunity which Mark Coulson exploited and sprinted in, Rhys added the conversion to reduce the arrears to 10. Bourns were now dominating the forward exchanges and the backs were asking questions, but the defence was solid. On 65 minutes, Bourns changed tactics as the referee was playing a penalty advantage, Mitch McGahan sent a high cross kick over to the left wing. A one to one challenge saw the ball not dealt with and Ethan Walker picked up the pieces to score in the corner, so Bourns just behind now at 12-17.
Sheffield then had at least 5 minutes camped on the Bournville try line, but the Bournville bus was not to be moved and great defence gave the home side a chance to take the game in the last minutes of the game. A valiant attempt met with a similar determined defence from the visitors and the home side couldn't get into the score zone, so against a very determined side the score remained at 12-17 with a losing bonus secured. Deserved far more from the second half display and surely the win column will return sooner rather than later.
Star man was prop James Burgoyne who got better and better in the scrummage contest as the game progressed and he made good yardage in the carry. Well that's the first half of the season over and the fixtures now reverse, so high flying Bridgnorth visit next week.
15, Paul Sumner, 14, Jordy Hop, 13, Henry Hughes, 12, Mark Coulson, 11, Ethan Walker, 10, Mitch McGahan, 9, Rhys Harrhy, 8, Ejike, Uzoigwe, 7, Angus Low, 6, Jonjo Fanning, 5, Rich Corr, 4, Steve Handy (capt), 3, Terry Sigley, 2, Jamie White, 1, James Burgoyne, 16, Sam Roe, 17, Tom Holliday, 18, James Weaver.
A view from the side
A 3 pm kick off under lights causes problems. Add in a low cloud base and the light gets worse. Still you get what you pay for and as I don't get paid, the photos are what they are.
Take a look HERE for a few (26) photos of the match