Sat 2 Dec 2017, 14:00
Season 2017/2018 • 31st League Season
South West Premier • Level 5
Bournemouth (3rd) v Brixham (8th)
Match Sponsored by Polestar Payroll
Saturday, 2 December, KO 2pm at Chapel Gate
Result: Bournemouth 57/8t7cp v 30/3t3c3p Brixham
HT: 29/4t3cp v 16/tc3p
Bournemouth do a sort of Maidenhead on the Fishermen
Bournemouth: Grant Hancox/2t7cp, Harry Davis, Freddie Gleadowe/t, Scott Chislett, Dan Stewart/t, Adam Davies/t, Sammy Veneroso, Tom Napier, Alan Manning, Luca Firetto, Adam MacDonald, Mike Treloar, Jack Henning, David McDonald, Joe Rees/C/2t. Substitutes: Alexander Bennett, Pat Fraser/t, Danny Kirkpatrick. Touch Judge: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Manager: Andrew Evans. Medical Team: Andy Curtis, Alice Essam. Kilometre-stones: Alan Manning starts his 25th league game. Grant Hancox passes 150 (156) points for the third successive league season, a feat achieved by only one other player, namely Dan Pollard in the seasons 2010/1 to 2012/3.
Referee: Alex Marsh. Adviser: Simon Thomas.
Two changes to the back line that played Maidenhead last week. The returning Freddie Gleadowe taking over at outside centre from Danny Kirkpatrick who was on the bench. Sammy Veneroso was given his first run out for the 1st XV this season in place of the unavailable Sam Hardcastle at scrum-half. In the forwards the front row was restructured with Tom Napier moving from lock to loosehead in place of Pat Fraser who was on the bench, Alan Manning moved from tighthead to hooker in place of the unavailable Frazer Wilford and Luca Firetto came off the bench to replace Alan. In the second row the returning Adam MacDonald took over from Tom Napier and Mike Treloar came off the bench to replace Jack Hennings. In the back row, blindside flanker David McDonald moved to openside in place of Alex Bennett who was moved to the bench and Jack Hennings took over from David at blindside
The weather was fine but overcast with little wind. Underfoot it was a little greasy after an unpleasant drizzle prior to the match.
Brixham kicked off from left to right as viewed from the stand and to their left.
After an early exchange of kicks Bournemouth played some patient possession-rugby to work their way into the Brixham 22m and demonstrated on their way an apparent liking for scrummaging. A deliberate Brixham knock-on saw Bournemouth opting for a scrum at the penalty. They won a second penalty when Brixham collapsed the scrum, or ‘dropped it’ as one pitchside pundit was heard to say, and Bournemouth decided that more of the same was required. I think it was the captain and No 8 Joe Rees’s ploy to get his first score of the season and his little ploy worked as Brixham were driven back over their line for, yes you’ve got it, the No 8 to score. The exemplary Grant Hancox continued where he left off from last week and kicked his first goal of the game to make the score 7-nil after five or so minutes. Brixham often used the tactic of kicking for territory and it was from an scrappy line-out tied up by Luca Firetto that saw Adam Davies break out supported by Freddie Gleadowe only to be penalized for ‘holding on’. Bournemouth were forced back to defend a line-out in side their own 22m. An untidy passage of play resulted in a Brixham scrum inside the Bournemouth. The dangerous Brixham No 8, Sam Thomas, broke off the back of the scrum and went down the short side and a neat little pass found Noah outside and the scrum-half was over wide out on the left. Fly-half Tom Putt’s matched Hancox’s earlier effort and the visitors were back on level terms at 7-all halfway through the half. Bournemouth recovered the restart right and Gleadowe took play deep into the Brixham half. A yellow card for openside Jordan Watson for a ‘no arms’ tackle gave Hancox the chance to kick for goal, and from just over 30 metres, the full back landed his second goal to restore the lead at 10-7. What’s goose for the gander and all that and when Bournemouth were penalized at the restart Putt again emulated Hancox and the scores were once again tied up at 10-all. Bournemouth struck immediately when scrum-half Sammy Veneroso fielded the Brixham kick back from the restart to feed inside centre Scott Chislett and Bournemouth took play into the Brixham 22m. Davies found himself with the ball in a tight situation but the fly-half weaved his way through a mass od would be defenders to score left of the posts. Hancox kicked his third goal and Bournemouth lead 17-10 after half-an-hour. Alexander Bennett, just on for openside David McDonald fielded the restart but lock Mike Treloar couldn’t hold on to his pass and Brixham had a scrum. Thomas again dangerously broke off the back of the scrum going right and with referee Alex Marsh playing advantage Brixham went for a drop goal when it came back left but when it bounced off the near post he came back for a Brixham penalty and Putt put the ball over to reduce the arrears to just four points at 13-17. Veneroso again fielded the kick return but this time found his captain Rees on his inside. The No 8, in typical fashion, had a run at the tacklers. When he was stopped the ball was released right Harry Davis reminded his former colleagues that he could run supported by fellow wing Dan Stewart who chipped the ball forward for a Brixham line-out just ten metres out from the ir line. A Bennett ‘steal’ saw the forwards drive before releasing the ball left. Davies had another of his characteristic ‘darts’ and Brixham eventually succumbed to the Bournemouth pressure when Pat Fraser, who had replaced loosehead Tom Napier when Bennett swapped places with McDonald, was driven over for another first, this time a double first, his first score the season and his first score for the 1st XV. From some ten metres in from the left hand touchline, Hancox kept up the good work and one couldn’t help admire how, from his ‘wrong’ side, the ball snaked between the uprights and Bournemouth were two scores up at 24-13 with some five minutes of the half left to go. Bournemouth were again penalized at the restart. I don’t know why as had my nose in my notebook trying to make some sort of record of what was going on. I know what goes down none of it makes sense but it’s the best I can do. Putt from outside the Bournemouth 22m putted with typical accuracy to leave the score at 24-16 but we were still two scores up. We soon restored normal service. The ball was recovered at the restart and Chislett made a great half break. Bournemouth made sure they retained the ball and eventually Stewart had the opening and was over next to the left-hand post. Are you going to put your hat on it? Of course you are. Hancox to kick the goal and Bournemouth go in for their half-time oranges or whatever they have these days leading 31-16. But no. With commendable skill from ten or so metres out, Grant managed to hit a 3-inch pipe some 20 feet up in the air and saw the ball bounce back in field to leave the score at 29-16 in fact but at least we had the try-scoring bonus point. Dad wasn’t too pleased I can tell you or mum for that matter. Excuse the mixed metaphors by the way. I simply can’t get used to this metric nonsense.
The second half got off to a promising start. Brixham ran the restart back through Thomas going right but Bournemouth were awarded a scrum. Coming right, Chislett made a great break taking play back to the Brixham 10m. Fellow centre Gleadowe, his hair flowing in that considerable slipstream he generates, seemed to me to slightly over run the ball-carrier causing the pass to be slightly behind him and, disappointedly, he couldn’t hold on to the ball for a Brixham scrum. Play was pretty frantic at times with a knock on here and a knock on there, Bournemouth ‘losing’ Chislett to a yellow card for ten minutes and it was some twenty minutes before either side had a chance to score. When the Brixham fly-half Putt was ‘red carded’ for a tip tackle on Davis, Hancox was given the chance to kick for goal. From right of the posts and some 30 metres out he ‘pulled’ his kick past the near post to leave the score at 29-16. From the drop out, Brixham recovered the ball and the Brixham lock Shrek Sharif, who was a jolly sight more mobile than his namesake in the films, made a rather unnerving charge up field, even accelerating when he saw gaps open up in front of him taking play deep into the Bournemouth half. However the rugby gods do smile occasionally and up went the touch judge’s flag for a foot in touch and a Bournemouth line-out. Even better a fine Bournemouth kick right found touch at a more reassuring place, inside the Brixham 10m line. Brixham went right off the line-out but Bournemouth forced the turn over and came back right to find Hancox. In a run that suggested he was determined to make up for those two missed kicks, the now scrum-half, having replaced Veneroso in a backs reshuffle, shook of any would-be tacklers and ran in from some 30 metres to score wide out on the right. He then picked himself up, composed himself and duly made a nonsense of his earlier misses with a well-struck conversion and his side were stretching away at 36-16. It also ade mum and dad a lot happier. Bournemouth again put themselves on the back foot by being penalized at the restart and found themselves defending a line-out outside their 22m on their right. They recovered the situation by nicking the ball at the line-out but the clearance kick wnt ‘straight out’ and Brixham had another chance to throw the ball in. This time Brixham did better and attacked through their threes first right then back left where a great tackle by Davis stopped them and what’s more Brixham were penalized for ‘holding on’. Davies faile to find touch to his right but the chasers ‘won’ a scrum on the Brixham 10m. Hancox when right and when play came back left, Davies put in a deft chip for Stewart to chase and Brixham were forced to concede a line-out just ten metres out. Again it was all rather messy but the upshot was Bournemouth were awarded a scrum more or less where the line-out was. A determined drive saw Rees score his second of the afternoon and Hancox, who obviously had recovered his kicking form, kicked an excellent goal and Bournemouth lead 43-16 with perhaps 15 minutes of the half left. Bournemouth recovered the ball when Brixham were awarded a penalty and Davis and Gkeadowe made a great break but were called back when Marsh signaled Bournemouth were not ten metres. Nonetheless they were soon awarded a scrum on the Brixham 10m and Hancox broke right to feed Davis. The winger had a run but Brixham managed to clear left for a Bournemouth throw-in. Hancox broke from the line-out and, in a manner reminiscent of his earlier run, was over under the posts for his second try and giving himself a much easier task of enabling Bournemouth to reach the 50 points mark. Brixham’s play had not suggested they were down to 14 men and in typical fashion they attacked from the restart. They pressurized the Bournemouth line and a desperate defence yielded a penalty try with Bennett seeing yellow for his part in the siege. 50-23 with perhaps five minutes go. Bournemouth chasing down the restart, held up the Brixham receiver for a scrum. With some adventurous play off the scrum a handling error enabled Brixham to turn the ball over and the next thing you know is the Brixham outside centre, Joe Lovell, scoring under the posts. That wasn’t in the script. The conversion was good 50-30 and four seconds to play according to the referee. Time for a fourth try and a bonus point me hearties. Bournemouth win a penalty at the restart. A Davies chip. A Chislett pick up. A supporting Gleadowe. A well-deserved try under the posts, the ball-carrier shepherded by Danny Kirkpatrick. Hancox gets his eighth goal and also gets a bottle of Conker Gin to mark the fact he was nominated the Bournemouth Man of the Match after referee Marsh had blown for no side of course. Mum and dad are even more pleased.
After the chastening experience at Maidenhead last week that was real ‘pick me up’ especially in the light of Brixham’s win over second-placed Newton. An obvious ‘banana skin’ and we were pleased to retain our 100% winning record at home against Brixham in the league.
That is the last home game this year. We entertain Weston-super-Mare on Jan 6, KO is 2pm don’t forget. Next week we play Newton Abbot at Rackerhays and please note that KO is 2pm. The following week, the 16th, we start the second half of the season by playing Bracknell at Lilyhill Park.