The Greens travelled without Tom Hughes and Dave Garbutt with Rory Rendall-Tyrell and Josh Sarsfield giving cover in the squad.
On a glorious spring afternoon the travelling faithful witnessed a game that was full on incident and much drama. The early exchanges led to no clear advantage for either team. Colin Chapman made a scything run out of defence but the move lacked support even though much ground was gained. The home team took an early lead when The Greens were penalised at the scrummage and Rhys Harrhy kicked the goal for a 3 points to nil advantage after 10 minutes. Scunthorpe marginally had the better of territory and possession and when Tom Foster moved the ball out to the left following a turnover, Will Robinson saw enough of a gap to exploit and sprinted clear to score in the corner. The conversion was missed but a 5 points to 3 advantage was gained after 17 minutes.
The Greens defence held firm in the face a some determined and powerful home attacks and when a box kick was not dealt with by the Bournville defence, Jakob Hardy seized on the loose ball and ran 35 metres to score close in to the posts. Cook added the conversion and Scunthorpe now had a 12 points to 3 advantage after 20 minutes. As the home side continued to bring their strong runners into play, the more the Scunthorpe defence refused to yield. In the 24th minute a home player ran hard onto a pass and was tackled by Oli Wood. The momentum of the attacker took him over the shoulder of Wood and he landed on his shoulder/neck region. The referee deemed it to be a dangerous tackle and Wood was red carded.
Although now down to 14 players it was still The Greens that continued to show enterprise and following several phases near the home line, the ball was moved along the line to the right where Hardy went over for his second try. Cook was unable to add the extra points but Scunthorpe now held a17points to 3 advantage over the chocolate boys. Will Harrison had come off the bench to cover in the unfamiliar back row position and made some good tackles but more importantly was his line-breaking runs, giving territorial advantage to the Greens. With halftime fast approaching Scunthorpe still pressed hard for that all important 4th and bonus point try and after a series of drives close to the line, it was Grant Elliott that crossed for the try. Cook converted and a 24 points to 3 lead was taken into the break.
At the start of the second half the fourteen men managed to successfully frustrate all the home efforts and in fact it was Scunthorpe that had the opportunity to increase their lead with a penalty after 9 minutes but the ball unfortunately drifted wide. The Chocolate boys increased their attacking tempo and The Green defence was now being hard pressed. Things only got worse when Sam Morgan went for an intercept, only to loose the ball and was duly yellow carded. The two minutes later the home pack was able to drive over from close in for a converted try. The score-line was now 24 points to 10 after 29 minutes of the second period.
Things then got even more stressful when Josh Bird was also rather harshly Yellow carded at the breakdown. Now down to 12 men after 32 minutes, it was all hands to the pump but then even worse was to follow when the much diminished Green pack was pushed over for a penalty try and Eddie Newsum was sent to the bin. For the next 3 or 4 minutes Scunthorpe played with 11 men as they defended their line. They were eventually made up to 12 and then 13 men and pragmatically retained the ball through the final stages to hold out for the win. To come through a set of circumstances that will arise once in a playing lifetime showed a great deal of character which was worthy of the long journey alone.
The travelling support breathed a huge sigh of relief to get through what was a testing encounter with their much reduced playing resource and gain the bonus point.
Match Report by LWJClayton