Sat 7 Oct 2017, 15:00
Season 2017/2018 • 31st League Season
South West Premier • Level 5
Bournemouth v Dings Crusaders
Sponsored by Bournemouth Bikes
Saturday, 7 October, KO 3pm at Chapel Gate
Result: Bournemouth 14/t3p-15/3t Dings Crusaders
A resilient Bournemouth almost snatch victory from the jaws of defeat
Bournemouth: Grant Hancox/3p, Alex Everett-Bolter, Freddie Gleadowe, Scott Chislett, Wyn Roberts/t, Adam Davies, Sam Hardcastle, Tom Napier, Pat Fraser, Alan Manning, Matt Christopher, Adam MacDonald, Richard Sharp, Alexander Bennett, Joe Rees/C. Substitutes: Dave McDonald, Alex Sutherland, Frazer Wilford. Touch Judge: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Manager: Andrew Evans. Medical Team: Steve Trapp. Conkers Gin Man of the Match: Joe Rees.
Referee: Brad Bignell. Match Official: Geoff Cove.
A number of changes to the team that played Cleve last week. At full back, the returning Grant Hancox replaced Alex Sutherland who was on the bench. Likewise, Adam Davies replaced Joe Gwyther at fly-half. Joe was with the seconds. On the left wing, Wyn Roberts came off the bench to replace Dan Stewart who was with the seconds. All change in the front row with Alan Manning replacing Luca Firetto at tighthead, while Pat Fraser replaced Alan at hooker and Tom Napier came off the bench to replace Pat at loosehead. In the second row, Adam MacDonald came off the bench to make his first start in replacing the injured Jack Hennings at lock. On the bench, in addition to Alex Sutherland, were Dave McDonald, making his second appearance for the 1st XV this season and Frazer Wilford returning from injury.
The weather was fine and sunny but with a noticeable breeze from the West blowing straight down the pitch. Underfoot, the pitch looked very good.
Dings kicked off with the breeze from left to right as viewed from the stand and to their left.
Unbeaten Dings showed why they have a 100% record this season by putting Bournemouth under enormous pressure right from the kick-off. Such was their confidence, fly-half Luke Arscott chose to throw a pass back inside, when it was easier to step over the line and score, only to see the ball knocked on. Bournemouth, through a kick from full back Hancox, had a chance to score, when Roberts chased the ball down only for the winger to knock the ball on as he tried to regather. With referee Brad Bignell playing advantage, Dings swung the ball left into the hands of former Bristolian Harry Tovey and the winger showed his pace to outstrip the defence to score in the corner. Scrum-half, Steve Plummer, failed to convert from wide out but Dings led 5-nil after ten or so minutes play. However Bournemouth stuck to their guns and it wasn’t until the half hour was up that the dominant Dings scored again to extend the lead to 10-nil. However Bournemouth struck back soon after with a well-struck penalty from some 30 yards, courtesy of full back Hancox to make the score 3-10. With Bournemouth beginning to get into the game but facing a strong Dings defence, fly-half Davies had a long range drop goal attempt but fell short and wide in the face of that breeze leaving the score the same to take into half-time.
Hancox was again on target soon after the restart, this time from the inside the Dings 10m, to reduce the deficit even further at 6-10 and giving Bournemouth supporters real hope that their side ‘could do this’. These hopes took a severe knock halfway through the second half when Dings eventually manage to drive over from a 5m line-out. Crucially again Plummer failed to convert but his side were on the verge of their customary try-scoring bonus point at 15-6. Ten minutes later Bournemouth had a ‘let off’ when a forward pass denied the visitors an almost certain score. However they had a similar ‘let off’ a few minutes later when a Hancox penalty, reflecting the increasing Bournemouth confidence and pressure, bounced off the outside of the near post to leave the score at 6-15. The full back was on target five minutes later with an injury time penalty making the score 9-15. With their tails up Bournemouth strove for that try and possible conversion for an unlikely win. With time fast running out, Dings refused to yield as Bournemouth hammered at the line but then the ball was released left. Roberts found enough room and was over in the corner to much jubilation to bring his side within a tantalizing one point of the opposition. Over to you Mr Full Back. From his ‘wrong side’ the left footed Hancox drilled the ball just a foot or so wide of the near post much to the disappointment of the home side’s supporters and I suspect much to the relief of the visitors. Referee Bignell then blew for ‘no side’.
Bournemouth drop to sixth on 16 points. Please note we are shown elsewhere as fifth but have been mistakenly credited with a bonus point, we have four not five. This is the first time Dings have beaten us at home.