"A very close and physical game"
By Jon Terry
Another excellent match report from our U14 player/correspondent
On Sunday morning, in typical rugby conditions, Bournville u14s travelled to a very strong and evenly matched Malvern Rugby Club. The past fixture between the two sides had been very close and ended with Bournville winning by just one try. Bournville also had two key players ruled out due to injuries so they knew they had to be at their best in order to beat this very strong and well drilled team.
Bournville did well to defend Malvern’s initial attack, but they kept coming forward with their forwards making strong carries to drive Bournville’s defence back. However, after about five minutes of play, Bournville finally managed to turnover possession, due to great work in the breakdowns from Fin Ellis and Henry Hayes. This allowed the ball to be spread to the backs and an impressive line break by Dylan Price took Bournville into the Malvern 22. It was now the forwards turn to try and drive Bournville forward. They did just that. Powerful drives from the whole pack lead to Fin Ellis going over the line a few metres in from the left wing. The conversion was successful and Bournville had a 7-point lead in the early stages.
Bournville were now on the front foot and after receiving the kick off were now playing great rugby to get themselves back up the pitch. However, Malvern’s strong defence made this hard work for Bournville and Malvern ended up turning the ball over with great tackling and work in the breakdowns. Malvern then got the ball out to the wing and looked to be in for a certain try but a great cover tackle from Jack Johns denied them. Bournville then turned possession over and cleared their lines. A great kick chase and jackling from winger Ethan Odulate meant Bournville were back on the ball in Malvern’s 22 once again. Again, Bournville gave the ball to their strong pack who relentlessly came together to drive over the line. This time it was a strong crash ball from hooker Henry Hayes that saw them scoring again. The conversion was made and Bournville were now 14-0 up.
Bournville were now starting to gain momentum and found themselves on the ball in Malvern’s territory once again. The ball was spread out wide to centre Dylan Price who beat several defenders in an incredible sprint to the corner for Bournville’s third try of the game. The conversion was missed but Bournville now looked comfortable and confident.
However, they most certainly were not comfortable, and a very sharp and quick Malvern team refused to drop their heads and soon scored their first try of the match due to a great interception and solo try from their fly half. The try was converted under the post and the score was now 19-7. Bournville kicked off with a high chip to the wing. However, Malvern’s full back came flying through and made a great take from the kick. At full pace he then ran straight past Bournville’s defence in a very impressive try that was then converted under the post.
At 14-19 the game suddenly began to get very close with both sides looking very dangerous. Again, just before half time, Malvern came back at Bournville and were now applying lots of pressure inside Bournville’s 22, but the whole team put in a great defensive shift and Bournville managed to win a scrum. The ball was given out of the back of the scrum to Dylan Price at full pace who ran the length of the pitch to score a try under the posts which was converted to see Bournville go into the half time break 26-14 up.
Straight after half time Bournville were under pressure by another strong Malvern attack. However, powerful dominant tackles from Kian Fatemifar led to Malvern knocking the ball on. This allowed Bournville to attack and the spread the ball out wide to find Jack Johns on the wing who outpaced his defender to score in the corner. However, the build-up to this try led to serious injuries to two of Bournville’s most key players. A broken wrist and a badly sprained shoulder saw both Ollie Pawley and Dylan Price leave the field. After a long stoppage in play, the conversion from the corner was missed but Bournville now found themselves with a comfortable lead. With these players off the pitch the rest of the team now knew they had to see out the rest of the game by defending well and playing for territory.
As expected, Malvern came back with another strong attack but Bournville managed to prevent them from scoring. But Malvern still mounted the pressure, and after about ten minutes of constant attack they managed to find their way through the Bournville defence to score a well organised try in the corner. The conversion was missed but the score was now 31-19 and the very dangerous Malvern side still had plenty of time to make a comeback.
From the kick-off Bournville chipped the ball high again and it was very nearly regained but unfortunately the ball was knocked on, resulting in a Malvern scrum on their own 10 metre line. The ball was given to their fly half who found a gap in Bournville’s defence and outpaced the rest of the team to score under the post. The conversion was successful, and the score was now 26-31, meaning there was now just 6 points in the game with ten minutes left, it was anybody’s game.
Bournville kicked deep from the kick off and put Malvern under immediate pressure. Malvern kicked the ball deep to try and put full back Harvey Collett under pressure, but he dealt with the kick well and stepped the defenders to then make a run down the wing, bringing the play back into the Malvern 22. After another strong drive from the forwards, Henry Hayes found himself going over the line for the second time and the conversion was successful, making the score 38-26 with just 4 minutes left to play. Bournville defended managed to maintain possession and saw out the rest of the match, despite a great effort from a very challenging Malvern side.
Thank you to Malvern for their great hospitality and for being such a challenging opposition. It was a great game to both play and watch.
Overall, a brilliant performance from the Bournville lads against such a difficult opponent. A very close and physical game but Bournville were deserved winners. Onto Bromsgrove next week.