Bournville 3’s had a tough league match against Worcester 3’s this weekend. Last minute drop outs meant a reshuffled line up consisting of 13 players, with a further 2 players being lost to injuries during the match. Fortunately Worcester were able to lend enough players to cover all losses, resulting in an enjoyable match for both sides.
In the first few minutes of the game Worcester were on the attack, deep in the Bournville 22. However a committed Bournville defence managed to keep the attackers at bay for a sustained period of time. Unable to secure a turnover, Worcester eventually found a way through, leading to a succession of breakaway tries by exploiting the width of the pitch and a staggered defensive structure. As the first half wore on, Bournville began to regroup, play some territory, and hold their defensive line, making it more difficult for Worcester to penetrate. A few spells of possession allowed Bournville to make some ground from powerful runs by the forwards, particularly through the Higgins twins, Mason Clarke and Matt Beattie. Unfortunately Jake and Mason both sustained ankle injuries during their runs and were forced to sit out the rest of the match. However, the pack remained a solid unit with crucial tackles being made by both Marc MacDonald and pack leader, Chris Brooks.
In the second half Bournville enjoyed much more possession and cracks began to form in the Worcester defence. Wingers Andy West, Ethan Browne, and fullback Fred Aston made vital metres in the wide channels, however Bournville were unable to convert these opportunities into points. Half back pairing Bish and Bernard (Beans) Moyo sucked in the Worcester defence with some aggressive running around the fringes, freeing up Mike Hignell at inside centre who broke through the defensive line. Just before being smashed by the Worcester fullback Mike put in a deft kick which was gathered and cleared by the Worcester winger, resulting in a Bournville line out deep in opposition territory. Once again, Bournville were unable to convert this opportunity to points, and Worcester were able to capitalise by scoring more tries in response.
In the closing stages of the game, a thundering hit from Bernard Moyo on the Worcester centre resulted in a turnover in the Bournville half. The turnover was exploited by Andy West who blitzed past his opposite number and was eventually brought down in the Worcester 22. Support arrived quickly and Bournville were able to string together numerous phases, gradually edging their way to the Worcester line. A series of pick and go’s, including Alex Higgins bumping off a few would-be tacklers, resulted in Matt Beattie crossing the line for a try in the last play of the game. A drop goal conversion attempt from out wide by Alex was on target, but fell just short of the crossbar, giving a final score of 55-5 to Worcester.
Despite the heavy score line, Worcester remarked that it was a tough game for them. There is certainly promise in the Bournville 3’s, however a solid defensive structure and continuity of play in attack can only be nurtured through a regular turn out to both training and matches.