Mon 27 Nov 2017 12:57 PM

Sat 25 Nov 2017, 14:30

Maidenhead RUFC

52 - 30

(HT 26-13)

Bournemouth RFC

Bournemouth RFC

Season 2017/2018 • 31st League Season

South West Premier • Level 5

Maidenhead (5th) v Bournemouth (3rd)

Saturday, 25 November, KO 2.30pm at Braywick Park

Result: Maidenhead 52/8t6c v 30/3t3c3p Bournemouth
HT: 26/4t3c v 13/tc2p

Bournemouth shocked by pace and power of the Berkshire Maids

Bournemouth: Grant Hancox/3c3p, Harry Davis, Danny Kirkpatrick, Scott Chislett, Dan Stewart/t, Adam Davies/t, Sam Hardcastle, Pat Fraser, Frazer Wilford, Alan Manning, Tom Napier, Jack Henning, David McDonald, Alexander Bennett, Joe Rees/C. Substitutes: Luca Firetto/t, Alex Sutherland, Mike Treloar. Touch Judge: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Manager: Andrew Evans. Medical Team: Andy Curtis. League Debut: Danny Kirkpatrick. 1st XV Honours Tie: David McDonald, Mike Treloar.

Referee: Brad Bignell. Adviser: Simon Thomas.

Two changes to the back line that played Hornets a fortnight ago, league-debutant Danny Kirkpatrick replaced the unavailable Freddie Gleadowe at outside centre and Dan Stewart replaced the unavailable Alex Everett-Bolter on the left wing. In the pack; Jack Hennings replaced Mike Treloar at lock and Mike took Jack’s place on the bench.

The weather was fine and sunny, if a little cold, with a breeze blowing from the North blowing straight down the pitch from right to left as viewed from the stand. Underfoot was a 3G pitch.

Bournemouth (Adam Davies) kicked off with the wind, right to left as viewed from the stand and to their right.

There were early signs of what Bournemouth were to face during the afternoon when outside centre Ed Keohane finished off a, what was to prove to be typical of the homeside’s play, a strong well-supported move off a line-out by scoring just left of the posts. It was pretty well a formality for his fellow centre, Alex French, to kick the goal for a 7-nil lead after five minutes or so. From the restart Bournemouth were to face another reality of the afternoon, the power of the opposition’s scrum when they were penalized for ‘standing up’. Nonetheless Bournemouth won a penalty of their own when Maidenhead attacked from the line-out and from just outside the Maidenhead 10m, Hancox kicked a well-struck goal to reduce the deficit, you see Mr Hammond it can be done, at 3-7 after ten minutes. Things got even better when fly-half Adam Davies side-stepped his way through the defence to score left of the posts. Lock Napier had ran the ball back from the restart taking play into the Maidenhead 22m. Bournemouth won a line-out on the right and it was from this play going left that Davies weaved his magic. Hancox kicked the goal and Bournemouth lead 10-7 after less that a quarter-of-an-hour. Maidenhead came straight back with a strong run with a little chip in behind the defensive line putting Bournemouth under all sorts of pressure and it was fly-hacked into touch for a Maidenhed line-out on the Bournemouth 5m. The drive by the forwards was held up and Maidenhead struggled to get the ball wide to their but that didn’t stop them scoring in the corner for a 12-10 lead after less than twenty minutes. Bournemouth soon found themselves back on the defensive and when Maidenhead were awarded a penalty they rather ominously opted for a scrum rather than kicking for goal. Bournemouth struggled to contain the shove but when Maidenhead did release it left they rather made a mess of things and the ball went loose. Hardcastle was on to it quick as flash but the scrum-half failed to connect when he tried to fly-hack it up field. Maidenhead knocked on as they tried to recover but turning the ball over at the scrum they scored just left of the posts. The kick was good and from what might have been a good Bournemouth attacking opportunity Maidenhead had in fact increased their lead at 19-10 with a quarter-of-an-hour of the half to go. When Maidenhead knocked on at the restart Bournemouth went left where new boy Kirkpatrick almost broke through but when Maidenhead were penalized for offside, Hancox, from in front of the posts, kicked the goal to make the score 13-19. Maidenhead recovered the restart and when they came back right it was only a brave tackle by Stewart that prevented a certain score. The pressure was further relieved when Maidenhead were penalized for ‘holding on’. That relief was short lived when Bournemouth lost the ball in the line-out and Maidenhead set up another strong attack through Keohane. However Maidenhead were penalized for a dangerous tackle when they chased down a kick through. Davies found sanctuary to his left for a Bournemouth line-out outside their own 10m. Bournemouth attacked first right then back left but Davies was forced to kick. Maidenhead ran it back and Davies was on hand to field the chip through and find touch. Off the line-out the Maidenhead pass was forward for a Bournemouth scrum. Bournemouth struggled to get the ball away under this relentless Maidenhead pressure. They conceded another penalty and Maidenhead scenting ‘blood’ attacked first right and when they came back left, with the Bournemouth defence stretched beyond breaking point, a desperate deliberate knock on only resulted in a penalty try and a yellow card for Hardcastle. 26-13 looked ominous for the visitors. They were also fortunate not to concede another score as Maidenhead ran the ball back from the restart but Bournemouth managed to get the ball into touch for referee Bignell to bring the half to a close.

Maidenhead started off the half much as they finished off the first. Former Bournemouth player, Jaryd Robinson, had a strong run down his left wing and I’m not certain how he didn’t score but a fine cover tackle did the job. The result was Maidenhead were in a strong attacking position and although Bournemouth strived to resist the forward shove from a scrum flowing the line-out, Maidenhead proved too strong and they scored off the back of the scrum. With the conversion, Maidenhead had stretched away to a 33-13 lead five minutes into the half. With Hardcastle now restored the scrum-half was soon involved in getting his fellow backs moving and they were rewarded when Maidenhead conceded a penalty. Hancox did his thing and Bournemouth had pulled back three points to trail 16-33. When Maidenhead were penalized for a dangerous tackle it gave Bournemouth the opportunity to set up a strong attack off the lineout through Napier and Bennett and showing good ball retention in the face of a determined defence replacement prop Firetto, for the second successive match, scored a try when he forced his way over commendably close to the posts. Hancox kicked his fifth goal of the afternoon and Bournemouth were just ten points adrift with twenty minutes to go. However that was as good as it got from a Bournemouth perspective. Nonetheless it looked promising from the restart when Treloar broke deep into the Maidenhead half desperately looking for support. A chip into the Maidenhead 22m was marked and, with some enterprise, Maidenhead promptly moved the ball left. A long kick downfield chased down by Robinson saw Bournemouth carrying the ball over for a Maidenhead scrum. You can guess the rest. Relentless Maidenhead pressure saw them back over the line on their own account to score. The conversion followed and what might have been? 30-33 was in reality 23-40, a very disappointing outcome after the earlier promise. With Maidenhead continuing to apply pressure when not in possession and forwards and backs running strongly in support of each other when in possession another score seemed inevitable and sure enough, despite some excellent Bournemouth defence, that support play was overwhelming and they were over for another converted try and a lead of 47-23. Worse was to follow when the Maidenhead No 8 fielded the restart. Nobody picked him up and he broke out supported by a swarm of players and they were back over in the corner without Bournemouth having touched the ball. Maidenhead had broken through the 50-point barrier with the score at 52-23 with two or three minutes left. Bournemouth did get a consolation try when Chislett broke from a penalty after a Maidenhead player was ‘yellow carded’ for a head-high-tackle on Stewart and it was the same player who was on hand to go over wide out on the left for his third try of the season. Hancox made it six goals out of six and Bignell blew for no side leaving the final score a chastening 30-52.

In many ways it was an astonishing score line against a side that had shipped 63 points down at Newton Abbot in their previous league match and have the second worse points-against record in the division. Their play was relentless with a strong set of forwards who put the Bournemouth set-piece under great pressure coupled with a set of strong running backs who were dangerous when in possession and applied relentless pressure on their opposite numbers, giving them little chance to shine, when not. Interesting results around the division however. Newton Abbot lost away to Brixham, who, after an indifferent start to the season, have won five of their last six games, and thus conceded the top spot back to Dings who beat Newbury. Bottom-placed Hornets didn’t seem to suffer any adverse affects from their visit to Bournemouth a fortnight ago and handsomely beat Bracknell. Camborne continue to have their problems slipping further down the table having lost away to Lydney who are second bottom. We remain third by the skin of our teeth and, as an illustration of how tight things are in the division, could, in theory, drop to 8th if results go a certain way next weekend. Can I remind people we are credited with an extra try-scoring bonus point in the official table and have 35 points, not 36. Nonetheless we remain third because of our superior points difference.

Congratulations to David McDonald and Mike Treloar on being awarded their 1st XV Honours tie.

From the murky depths of what is known as forward play, Luca Firetto has emerged to now score an astonishing six tries, two in a row for heaven’s sakes, having scored his first at Barking in 2012/3 (N2S). Scott Chislett stretches his own league-career record to 172 starts as IS Centre. Grant Hancox stretches his own league-career record to 93 penalty goals and is the leading scorer in the league for Bournemouth this season with 129 points. Sam Hardcastle stretches his own league career starts records to 306, 293 as scrum-half. Alan Manning stretches his own league-career record to 191 starts as TH prop and, if selected, will make his 250th start in the league against Brixham next week. Frazer Wilford stretches his own league-career record to 103 starts as hooker.

Next week we play Brixham at home and please note KO is 2pm. Our lights are not good enough and with the evenings rapidly drawing in as we approach the festive season we consider it wise to play when there is some light.

Doug Warren