BOURNS RETURN TO WINNING WAYS AT AVERY FIELDS
BOURNVILLE 46 BURTON 26
Bourns began their journey to turn around their season with the first of four fixtures against teams all around them in the bottom half of the table, as Burton visited Avery Fields for the first time. Training had gone well with the players responding to the error of their ways, and plans were in place to minimise those errors and execute better. Some changes had to be made due to a mixture of un-availability, work commitments and friendly fire training injuries, therefore in the backs, player coach Mitch McGahan returned at first receiver, likewise John Hargreaves at 12, Jordy Hopp also returned at 13, likewise James Whybrow on the right wing. Paul Sumner and Ethan Walker, the remaining backs from last time out completed the back line. Up front, James Weaver swapped with Jamie White as starting hooker, and Harry Hudson made is debut at 6. The bench was again made up of two front row and Ben Shimwell covering back row.
Bourns drew first blood after 2 minutes of play. Burton knocked on at the kick off on their 22. Bourns won their scrum and a slick backs move left to right in front of the clubhouse saw Paul Sumner, put in right wing James Whybrow who handed off his opposite number and showed great strength in scoring in the corner. Scrum half Rhys Harrhy kicked the touch line conversation, a great start. Burton then had a period of possession and at a scrum penalty they kicked a penalty on 10 minutes 7-3. Play was fairly even, but the Bourns backline always looked a threat as the forwards got around the corner well creating space. On 15 minutes, another sweeping move with speed, skill and accuracy saw Sumner provide again to Whybrow with a deft off load. James neatly stepped inside his marker and touched down again in the corner. Rhys converted off the post for a 14-3 lead.
From the re-start Burton received the first of four yellow cards as the second row took the catcher out in the air. Yellow card and penalty was the correct decision, no more. However Bourns couldn't capitalise and it was Burton who pressured the most converting a penalty for mid field offside which saw winger Ethan Walker sit out for 10 minutes. Bourns returned the favour on 29 minutes, but Burton were knocking on the door and their stand off scored a well deserved try after Bourns had been sucked in to quell the visitor's forward drives, the score was now 17-11. Bourns were finishing the half the strongest and Burton infringed on their 5 meter line as they scrambled to keep Bourns out. Bourns chose to scrum, and again when the Burton number 8 decided to kick the ball out the back of the scrum having broke off which saw him sit out 10 minutes, but Burton disrupted the next scrum leaving Eji at 8 to tidy up and re-group. Mitch made a break and was inches short, but good awareness by Eji saw him pick up and touch down against the padding at the base of the post for a score. An easy conversion made it 24-11 to Bourns at half time.
The third quarter belonged to Burton as Bourns hardly saw any ball, due to the quality of the phase play of the visitors. The rather quick second row was making line breaks and only scramble defence prevented tries. However Burton got back in the game. Firstly through a penalty on 45 minutes, then on 51 minutes when the second row made another break, the tackle was ineffective and he passed inside to a supporting flanker under the posts, so the gap was now 3 points at 24-21. On 54 minutes, Burton tried to run it out the 22, but were turned over. The ball was swept left to Ethan who took a difficult pass low down, but had the presence of mind to see Jordy Hopp in a better position and passed off the ground to Jordy who crossed the line for the score in the corner. Rhys just missed the conversion so some relief at 29-21 with the try bonus point secured. However, Burton were in no mood to lie down. They had a line out about 15 metres out. They drove the line out and Bourns held it, but the short side was exposed and the aforementioned second row, burst through, so a tense finish was on the cards going into the last quarter at 29-26.
Then the game changer, the Bourns scrum was struggling a bit. Veteran Tex Sigley was brought on at tight head, with the return of hooker James Weaver for tactical reasons. Tex smashed his opposite number and with the drive taken into the 22, Bourns scrummed again at the penalty. The Burton scrum was in all sorts of trouble and a yellow card was shown to the second row for collapsing. Another scrum, Burton infringed again and the tight head also saw yellow for dropping the retreating scrum. With gaps in the defensive back line, the ball was moved for centre John Hargreaves to score making it 36-26. Bourns game managed perfectly the remaining few minutes, kicking the ball into the visitor's 22 and asking them to score from there with reduced numbers. A turn over penalty increased the lead by 3, then a second try for Hargreaves as the gaps appeared made the final score 46-26 and a huge 5 points were secured as Bourns continue their battle to get out of the bottom three.
Paul Sumner again had a decent game in attack providing scoring opportunities and kicked well when he had to. Debutant Harry Hudson impressed at 6, as did the other back rowers, but star man for his 15 minute cameo was prop Terry Sigley whose scrummage experience and expertise in the dark arts, led the team to a first victory in nine attempts.
All roads now lead to Derby, where a Bourns win will see them leap frog their opponents and out the bottom three. No pressure boys, more of the same please.
Team : 15, Paul Sumner, 14, James Whybrow, 13, Jordy Hopp, 12, John Hargreaves, 11, Ethan Walker, 10, Mitch McGahan, 9, Rhys Harrhy, 8, Ejike Uzoigwe, 7, Jonjo Fanning, 6, Harry Hudson, 5, Steve Handy, (capt), 4, Rich Corr, 3, Sam Roe, 2, Jamie White, 1, James Burgoyne, 16, Terry Sigley, 17, James Weaver, 18, Benedict Shimwell.