Errors Ruin a Promising Performance
Bournville 44 Walsall 27
Walsall were very much in contention in their game at Bournbrook. They put a great deal of pressure on the high flying Bournville team. But they were guilty of committing several basic errors that allowed the hosts to pull away and to finish with, what seemed a comfortable victory.
The visitors dominated the first ten minutes and came close to a score when flanker Jeffrey Williamson, playing his first full game, made a strong burst for the tryline. He was stopped just short of the whitewash; a pass to a supporting player might have been a better option! Bournville, in contrast, scored after their first visit into their opponents twenty-two. A simple switch move resulted in centre Eatough touching down under the posts after fifteen minutes. Five minutes later Warner added another three points after Walsall had conceded a penalty after an obvious offside at the breakdown. It was not long before the visitors were rewarded for their persistency as some good lineout play saw Fitzgerald break-off and make a strong drive for the line. When he was stopped, Williamson was again quick to support and he picked up and made the final few yards to score his first try in league rugby. Wood’s conversion reduced the deficit to just three points. But there were further scores during the final ten minutes of the first half. The first came to the home team, as scrum half Petty touchdown after some strong forward drives. The visitors replied with some more strong running by Fitzgerald and Williamson which resulted in Wood putting over his first penalty. But virtually from the kick off the hosts were gifted another score. The Walsall defence were very slow to close down a Bournville passing movement and a wild pass should have been seized upon. But Eatough was allowed to gather the ball and stroll over for another try. Walsall, in contrast, had to work hard for their scores. The half came to an end with Wood putting over a penalty after the referee decided to penalise the hosts for their persistent offside at the breakdown.
Petty got an early penalty to give his team a 23 – 13 lead. But a superb Walsall attack saw the gap close to just three points. A mazy run by Rafa Ingelmo was supported by Ben Potts and then some crisp passing saw Tierney deliver a well-timed pass to full back Naylor. He then beat two defenders as he raced over from twenty meters. Wood’s well struck conversion added the extra two points.
A Walsall win seemed a distinct possibility at this stage. But the failure by several players to hold on to the ball in the contact situation was proving to be a real concern. This was evident throughout the game and as a result,scoring opportunities were wasted. The hosts took full advantage of these errors to score tries that would secure them the victory. A mix up after an Eatough kick ahead allowed the centre to score his third try and then dropped passes and lost possession resulted in winger Barratt scoring twice in quick succession.
Walsall to their credit fought back well and showed what might have been possible, as they produced a strong drive to disrupt the Bournville scrum. This resulted in scrum half Liam Lloyd getting the touchdown for the final try;Wood’s touchline conversion preceded the final whistle.