Sheffield RUFC 17 - 16 Bournville RFC
By Roger Keegan
Sheffield battle very hard under exceptional circumstances to defeat Bournville
Sheffield RUFC 17 - 16 Bournville RFC
Team Selection for Saturday, 6th April 2019
15 Andy Hodgson
14 Rupert Broadley
13 Lewis Bowman
12 James Flint
11 Jack Hedley
10 Mat Law
9 Elliot Fisher
1 Tobi Ademakin
2 Michael Bradford
3 Joe Cooke
4 Dave Clayden
5 Dom Parsons
6 Jason Hignell
7 Angus Hughes
8 Sean Casey
16 Tom Womack
17 Ben Parker
18 Ali Womack
Sheffield managed to steady the ship despite being well under powered for this clash with Bournville, who needed at least one point from the match to ensure survival in the league. Injuries to scrum half Steve Depledge and prop forwards Ben Whitney and Dan Rylance, and hooker Ianto Jones meant that Sheffield’s pack would be under some pressure. Tobi Ademakin moved from hooker to prop-forward and Michael Bradford moved up from the bench to start at hooker. Andy Hodgson returned at full back and Matt Law returned at fly half, with James Flint moving from the wing to his more familiar position of centre alongside Lewis Bowman, with Ben Parker dropping down to the bench. We also welcomed back Jack Hedley on the left wing, home from University in Durham for his first match of the season.
The very early exchanges were very evenly shared by the teams, but the kicking battle was in general going in favour of Bournville, whose full back, Alex Warner demonstrated an extremely cultures boot, particularly when kick to touch. However, it was Sheffield’s back division who created the most opportunities, with a number of searing runs from Rupert Broadley, Lewis Bowman, Andy Hodgson and Jack Hedley, and only some desperate defence from Bournville prevented Sheffield from getting over the whitewash. However, after twelve minutes Bournville were adjudged to have erred in stopping one of the attacks. Andy Hodgson converted the opportunity and Sheffield led by 3 points to nil. However, Bournville began to dominate at the scrum where it became apparent that Tobi Ademakin was struggling with a shoulder problem, and when Sheffield were driven off their own ball, Bournville broke to the right and were stopped when a high tackle gave them a penalty on seventeen minutes. Scrum half Rhys Harrhy’s kick at goal drifted to the left and the score was unaffected. Then three minutes later, a break from full back Andy Hodgson saw the ball moved to the left wing for Jack Hedley to score out on the left. Andy Hodgson added the conversion and Sheffield led by 10 points to nil after twenty minutes.
Sheffield looked like they should score again just four minutes later when once again the Sheffield backs, involving James Flint, Lewes Bowman and Jack Hedley carved a hole through the Bournville defence. Unfortunately, Jack was brought down just short of the try line and the ball was split forward and the opportunity died. Shortly afterwards, Bournville were awarded a penalty just outside Sheffield’s 22-metre and on this occasion Rhys Harrhy’s made no mistake to reduce the lead to 10 points to 3 after twenty-seven minutes. Unfortunately, a string of errors by both teams led to a series of scrums where Bournville were dominating. A penalty at the scrum gave Bournville the opportunity to kick toward the corner for touch and from the resulting lineout managed to construct a powerful drive and score a try through second row forward, Tom Holliday. Rhys Harrhy’s Added the conversion and the scores were tied at 10 points all after thirty-three minutes. Sheffield had one last chance to add to their score, when, with time running out, a kick from Andy Hodgson was touched in flight, giving Sheffield a line out deep in Bournville’s 22-metre. Sheffield secured the line out and drove for the try line, but the opportunity came to nothing and the half concluded.
Sheffield seemed to have nodded of over the half time break. They failed to catch the ball at the kick off. Sheffield did however, have the lineout at which they secured a free kick. Unfortunately, the resulting clearance kick gave Bournville a lineout just outside Sheffield’s 22-metre. Bournville drove hard for the Sheffield try line and soon were playing advantage from a penalty in front of the posts. Strangely, they opted for a drop goal which was converted, taking the lead at 13 points to 10 after just two minutes of the half. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but with the scrum dominance they were enjoying, they may have taken the scrum and gone for the try, but hey dis not. Sheffield started to reshuffle the team, bringing on Ben Parker and Tom Womack and despite Bournville’s dominance at the scrum, Sheffield backs always looked capable of winning the game. There was no further score until we had played sixty-two minutes when Bournville were awarded another penalty about thirty metres out in the centre of the park, and Rhys Harrhy’s made no mistake to take Bournville’s lead out to 16 points to 10. Bournville had one further opportunity to move the lead out to two scores on sixty-eight minutes, with another penalty, again about thirty metres out, but on the left, but Rhys Harrhy’s kick drifted to the left of the posts. Then with time running toward a conclusion, Sheffield had a line out on Bournville’s 10-metre line. The ball was moved smartly out to the backs and an interjection between the two centres by right wing Rupert Broadley saw Rupert scurry through the defence and despite being hailed down just short of the line, he had the presence of mind to place the ball over the try line and Sheffield were adrift by just one point with the conversion to come. Andy Hodgson added the conversion and Sheffield led by 17 points to 16 with barely five minutes to play. Despite Bournville’s endeavours, Sheffield managed to hold out and took the spoils, with Bournville taking home a vital losing bonus point, which ensures their participation at this level next season.
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