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1st XV - Match centre

Lichfield
Bournville Rugby
Fri 8 Feb 19:45 - League Full time

BOURNS MASTER THE WIND AND THE MUD TO RECORD A FOURTH WIN ON THE TROT

LICHFIELD 22 BOURNVILLE 28

Bourns faced another vital Midlands Premier League encounter as they made the trip to nearby Lichfield and played the game under floodlights. The rain followed the team up the A38 and drenched the ground for about 30 minutes just prior to kick off, but it relented in time as the teams took to the field, but the wind was rampant blowing a gale straight down the pitch from the clubhouse end.

As for the Bourns team, changes had to be made through a variety of reasons. In the backs, Rhys Harrhy and Mitch McGahan returned to starting 9 and 10 duties. With only Henry Hughes available as a genuine centre, he was partnered in mid field by Jordy Hopp once again filling in. With injuries to contend with on the wing, Lewis Webb retained his place on the left and young Ollie Leigh was given more game time on the right wing.

To the start then and it was Lichfield who had first use of the strong wind. They dealt with the kick off and used their back five to carry up to half way in the first minute, but Bourns turned the ball over and the first pass found prop James Burgoyne who hit the line and sped off to the 22 and passed inside to flanker Angus Low who touched down under the points for an early 7 point lead. It got even better from the kick off as Bourns ran the ball back from a long kick off. Angus again found space on the short side and only a last ditch tackle prevented him going all the way. With the home defence scrambling to get back, the ball was quickly re-cycled right to left and Henry Hughes went over in the corner. So 4 minutes gone and Bourns 12-0 up against the wind.

Lichfield chose to run the ball at every opportunity and rarely kicked for territory. They were rewarded on 14 minutes when Bourns conceded a free kick for an early push at the scrum. The number 8 took it quickly and got behind the defence driving into the 22. A series of forward drives eventually saw the flanker score from close range, but the conversion was missed. Bourns responded on 18 minutes with a penalty. The range was around 35 meters in front of the posts, with the wind a factor, but Rhys Harrhy gives the ball a whack and the kick just made it for a lead of 15-5. As the game entered the second quarter, Lichfield were asking questions with their backs and a missed tackle in mid field allowed the centre to easily create a 2 on 1 for the winger to go under the posts to reduce the arrears to 12-15. On 25 minutes, Bourns were off side and the simple chance was taken to tie the scores up. The home side were enjoying plenty of possession and on 36 minutes their backs created a good score for the winger's second try to take the lead at 22-15. That remained the score at the break, but most of the Bourns faithful felt the wind was worth more points.

Bourns were dominating the scrums and the line out began to work after a shaky start. The plan was to scrum, line out and use the wind to play in the opposition 22. However it was Lichfield who had the better of the first 10 minutes. They were smashing at the line for several minutes, but the Bourns defence was up to the challenge and it must have been demoralising for the home team when they got turned over and Mitch boomed out a clearance kick to just in front of the Lich 22. Bourns drove and forced a break down penalty for Rhys to convert. 18-22.

Bourns had the ascendancy in the tight gaining territory using the wind effectively and eventually on 68 minutes the try came. Winger Ollie Leigh came off his wing at pace and bounced off three would be Lichfield tacklers before crossing the line. The lead was regained 25-22. The pack had already been bolstered by the addition of three forwards from the bench, namely Fanning, Holliday and Sigley, and at scrum time a further penalty came as the home pack could not cope. Easy for Rhys increasing the lead to 28-22. Bourns game managed the remainder of the game really well pinning the opposition deep and forcing them to run the ball out due to the strong wind. Defence was sound and a fourth win on the bounce was secured. Bourns sit in 8th position after the results of the other games holding an 11 point lead over Derby who are in the final relegation place. Perhaps Bourns can look above them for a change after this run of results, but realise there is still much to do to secure their Midlands Premier status. Mission 4 of 4 completed.

Star man was undoubtedly centre Henry Hughes who was magnificent defensively and was always a linchpin in attack. Next up its a top six team Luctonians who still have design on a promotion place. It's a 3 pm kick off at our own Avery Fields next Saturday, which is also the day of the clubs open day, where we have invited our local community to come and see the new facilities and be part of a great community hub.

Team: 15, Paul Sumner, 14, Lewis Webb, 13, Jordy Hopp, 12, Henry Hughes, 11, Ollie Leigh, 10, Mitch McGahan, 9, Rhys Harrhy, 8, Ejike Uzoigwe, 7, Angus Low, 6, Harry Hudson, 5, Rich Corr, 4, Steve Handy (capt), 3, Sam Roe, 2, James Weaver, 1, James Burgoyne, 16, Terry Sigley, 17, Tom Holliday, 18, Jonjo Fanning.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Crab Football

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