Sat 21
1st XV


By Mick Palmer
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No excuses...

A patched up team carrying several injuries travelled North up the M6 to leafy Cheshire to play the return fixture with Sandbach. Bourns knew nothing less than a win would avert the trap door closing. With the team still being juggled as late as 9am on the morning of the match, the task was made more challenging with three props having to play in the front row. However this never hindered the scrum as Bourns had the upper hand all game even when playing a man short as the report will show.

With so many backs not available, another centre partner greeted our Aussie Ned Stephenson in the form of normal full back Scott Harman. Returning "Bach" old boy Rich Murray was pushed to 15. Alex Warner returned at 10 after his short enforced sebaticle and young wingrr Jake Cullotty was pulled from his workplace to play his first game of the season.

Playing against the slope and a noticeable wind, , Bourns played fairly positively. The opposition were shunted back and when the home side did get some ball, their attacks were snuffed out. An offside on 10 minutes allowed the home 10 Benny Elliott the simplest of penalty chances. However Bourns responded with some well constructed play pinning Bach well into their 22. Jamie Sutton at 7 incurred the wrath of the referee for repeated infringements but Bourns more than coped being one down driving their opponents back.Rich Murray weaved his way over the line but a fine tackle knocked the ball from his grasp denying him a score on his return to his old club. Loan player Chris Fensome standing in at 9 thought he had scored from a series of forward drives but the "derrière" of number 8 Jon Tideswell was adjudged to have blocked a would be tackler . A fair call.. However on Bourns next visit to the 22 they scored in the far corner from a driving lineout just after Jamie had returned where he touched down. A fine conversion wide out meant Bourns had a deserved lead, however the seasons failings of making errors in the wrong areas allowed Sandbsch to score two tries in the final 10 minutes of the half. Firstly a fine scrum on our line was driven out, but the use of an extra-isolated drive allowed the home 7 to turn the ball over and quick hands left a run in for the centre. The second a chip that didn't work and lack of defensive organisation allowed the score. So 17-7 down but plenty of positives to reflect on at the break.

Sandbach gained an early penalty but Bourns responded with a simple number 8 pick up and draw to allow Bourns to move it wide for Ash Knight to score in the corner to make it 12-20 after 55 minutes. From the kick off, the game ultimately changed as Rob Griffin was given a straight red for retaliation made worse by the referree missing the original incident that led to Horse landing a punch. Tight play remained steady as Bourns scrum pressured the home ball, but patched up players were beginning to run out of gas and the home backs coupled with their open side rampant, took full advantage. It remained 23-13 until the last 10 minutes but 5 tries and 4 conversions were conceded to inflate the score with Chris Fensome eventually scoring an individual try in between the carnage.

Looks a heavy defeat on paper but superior fitness told brutally in the end. So Bourns will play in Midlands one next season..

Next up is Scunthorpe at home before the Easter break. Three games left boys..No pressure, let's enjoy...


15, Murray, 14, Knight, 13, Stephenson, 12, Harman, 11, Cullotty, 10, Warner, 9, Fensome, 8, Tideswell, 7, Sutton, 6, Mills, 5, Smith, 4, Griffin, 3, Payne, 2, Coles I, 1, Hamilton, 16, Coles P, 17, Handy, 18, Brooks..

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Match details

Match date

Sat 21, Mar 2015




National League 3 Midlands