Mon 08 Jan 2018 18:24

Sat 6 Jan 2018, 14:00

Bournemouth RFC

30 - 27

(HT 13-13)

Weston-super-Mare RFC

Bournemouth RFC

Season 2017/2018 • 31st League Season

South West Premier • Level 5

Bournemouth (3rd) v Weston-super-Mare (8th)

Match Sponsored by Goadsby

Saturday, 6 January 2018, KO 2pm at Chapel Gate

Result: Bournemouth 30/4t2c2p v 27/3t3c2p Weston-super-Mare
HT: 13/2tp v 13/tc2p

Bournemouth prevail in a thrilling encounter

Bournemouth: Grant Hancox/2c2p, Harry Davis/t, Freddie Gleadowe, Scott Chislett/t, Dan Stewart/t, Adam Davies, Sam Hardcastle, Tom Napier, Alan Manning, Luca Firetto, Adam MacDonald, Jack Hennings, Richard SharpDavid McDonald, Joe Rees/C. Substitutes: Alex Everett-Bolter/t, Pat Fraser, Mike Treloar. Touch Judge: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Manager: Andrew Evans. Medical Team: Andy Curtis, Alice Essam. Conker Gin Man of the Match: Richard Sharp. Records: Scott Chislett extends his own league record of starts as inside centre to 176. Grant Hancox extends his own league record to 98 penalty goals. Sam Hardcastle extends his own league records to 309 starts (296 as scrum-half). Joe Rees extends his own league record to 76 starts as No 8.

Referee: Zerren Bell. Adviser: Simon Thomas.

Bournemouth fielded the same back line that played in the last match before Christmas at Bracknell. In the forwards, Jack Hennings moved from BS Flanker to lock in place of Mike Treloar who moved to the bench, while the returning Richard Sharp took over at BS Flanker from Jack. David McDonald came off the bench to replace Alex Bennett at openside flanker. Pat Fraser was again on the bench with Mike Treloar and the returning Alex Everett-Bolter.

The weather was fine and bright but with a distinctly chilly north-easterly wind. Underfoot was pretty firm after much recent heavy rain. Thus a pretty good day all round for a game of rugby football.

Before the match, Jacka Ware was presented with the Young Player of the Month award by captain Joe Rees.

Weston (James Mackay) kicked off from left to right as viewed from the stand and to their left.

Early Bournemouth pressure was rebuffed by Weston and when they turned the ball over they made a great break back into the Bournemouth half. A judicious chip left didn’t have the reward such an ambitious and exciting move deserved when Bournemouth, scampering back to cut out the threat, saw the ball knocked on just a couple or so metres from the line and a certain score for a Bournemouth scrum. When Adam Davies kicked clear it only gave an opportunity for the Weston backs to show what dangerous and quick runners they were. They came first right then back left and it was only a Harry Davis interception that saved the situation but his off load, which could have set up a thrilling counter attack, was forward for a Weston scrum. Impish Sam Hardcastle managed to steal the ball at the base of the Weston scrum but the ball was lost and Weston had no hesitation in bringing their dangerous backs into play once again. Bournemouth struggled to contain the threat and were penalized for the efforts just outside their 22m. Fly-half James Mackay duly kicked the first of his five goals of the afternoon to give the visitors a 3-nil lead after with just over five minutes played. Bournemouth knocked on their attempt to regather Davies’s restart and from inside the their own 22m Weston were quite prepared to run the ball. It required a first class tackle by Freddie Gleadowe forcing the ball into touch to stop the move making any more progress. Coming right from the line-out, Bournemouth were awarded a penalty in much the same relative position as they had conceded a few minutes earlier and Grant Hancox had the same result as the Weston kicker to tie up the scores at 3-all with less than ten minutes played. Bournemouth’s defence was being sorely tested by the Weston backs who were very clever in working the miss passes in order to prize open the door. Some aggressive tackling by the backs, Scott Chislett in particular who must have been a strong candidate for the Man of the Match award, kept them at bay but a penalty for not rolling away gave Mackay a second opportunity to kick for goal from close to the spot where he succeeded earlier. He had the same result and had restored his side’s lead at 6-3 with quarter of the match gone. Bournemouth chased down the restart but a Weston player was hurt on the Weston 22m and the referee blew immediately to stop play for the injured player to receive attention. Bournemouth were also penalized and Mackay shaped right to kick for touch but instead swung the ball left to release his backs. David McDonald turned the ball over and, despite some excellent Weston defence, the Bournemouth threes eventually got Harry Davis over in his corner. Hancox pulled his effort at goal outside the near post but Bournemouth had taken the lead for the first time in the match at 8-6 after less than half-an-hour’s play. Weston struck back immediately with another strong three-quarter attack and the exceptionally quick full back Harry Jones was over in the left-hand corner. Mackay kicked an excellent goal from wide out and Weston were back in the lead for the third time at 13-8 on the half hour. When Weston were penalized at the restart, Davies found touch to his right on the Weston 5m. Richard Sharp broke away from the drive off the line-out and was held up just short of the line where Jack Hennings was yellow carded for some misdemeanour. Mackay found touch to his right but when the throw-in was not straight, Bournemouth opted for the line-out instead of the scrum, presumably because they were a man short in the scrum. That little ruse didn’t work when the ball was lost at the back of the line and Weston were awarded a scrum. When Weston went left Bournemouth managed to turn the ball over and eventually worked the opening for Chislett to get through to score left of the posts unopposed. Hancox pulled his kick at goal across the face of the posts but Bournemouth had drawn level at 13-all with perhaps five minutes of the half left to play. Captain Joe Rees fielded the restart supported by Alan Manning and Bournemouth took play back into the Weston half where they were awarded a penalty. Davies found touch to his left on the Weston 22m. The fly-half tried a little chip back left but with Bournemouth still pressing referee Zerren Bell blew to end the half when Weston managed to turn the ball over but knocked on.

Bournemouth were almost immediately penalized at the restart for not ‘rolling away’ but Mackay’s effort from inside the Bournemouth 10m was short and wide. Davies fielded the ball and cleared right for a Weston line-out on the Bournemouth 10m. Hennings was restored at this point but in the very next play, Adam MacDonald was ‘yellow carded’ for a team sanction of too many infringements on the ground in the contact. So Bournemouth were back down to 14 men. Mackay failed to find touch but after an exchange of kicks, Weston countered with another strong running three-quarter attack first down the left but when the ball was worked back right the final pass went straight into touch for a Bournemouth line-out on their own 5m. Hardcastle kicked clear but Bell came back to a Bournemouth penalty and Davies found touch to his left on the Bournemouth 10m. Bournemouth brought on Alex Everett-Bolter in place of Dan Stewart and the substitute left winger was soon in action with a telling burst down the middle but Weston turned the ball over. They attacked strongly back right and with the alarm bells ringing the Bournemouth defence was hard pressed to scramble back and force play into touch. Not sure the ball was meant to go to Luca Firetto at the back of the line-out but the prop was able to feed Rees supported by prop Tom Napier but a promising breakout was stalled by losing the ball in the contact. Weston’s apparent advantage was nullified when Bournemouth were awarded a free kick at the scrum. Hennings had a run but again the ball was spilt in the contact and Weston countered. All exciting stuff you understand but there was an element of frustration for the Bournemouth supporters. Attacking right Weston were awarded a scrum on the half-way line and Bournemouth were penalized at the scrum for Mackay to find touch to his right. Weston’s three-quarters again showed how dangerous they were as the attacked left and they duly scored. Mackay kicked a well-judged goal from close to the left-hand touch line and Weston were back in the lead, is that the fourth time?, at 20-13. Disturbingly for Bournemouth, Davies was carried from the field of play with an ankle injury not to take any further part in the game. Hancox took over fly-half duties and Stewart came back on to replace Hancox at full back. MacDonald was restored at this point so at least Bournemouth were back up to full strength. Despite Bournemouth ‘losing’ a couple of line-outs in quick succession a determination to shrug off the loss of Davies saw Hancox get his three-quarters working to great effect. They were rewarded for their enterprise when Sam Hardcastle took a quick penalty and his quick dart immediately put Weston on the back foot. The scrum-half was supported by Gleadowe and with Stewart joining in, with typical running and stepping skills, the replacement full back got over in the corner. The new fly-half showed the former full back how to do it with an excellent conversion from wide out and Bournemouth had tied up the scores at 20-all half-way through the half. Bournemouth came back strongly from the restart and Weston were penalized in their attempts to counter the threat. From the Weston 10m Hancox turned away immediately after kicking the ball and didn’t actually see it sail between the two uprights. Bournemouth were leading for the second time at 23-20. When Weston over threw a line-out ball, Weston were penalized for a high tackle as Bournemouth sought to capitalize on the error and Hancox had another chance to kick for goal this time from outside the Weston 10m. Into a wind that had largely died away by this time, he pushed his effort pass the near posts to leave the score at 23-20. Weston went long with their drop out and Bournemouth ran it back where Manning, who had worked hard all afternoon with any number of his typical ball-carries, made an exceptional break even by his standards and he was ‘held up’ over the line for a Bournemouth 5m scrum. Going right Bournemouth were again held up but this time the scrum went to Weston enabling Mackay to clear left for a Bournemouth line-out outside the Weston 10m. Rees drove off the line-out and the ball was worked left where Everett-Bolter marked his return to the 1st XV by scoring in the corner to secure the try-scoring bonus point. To the delight of the crowd, Hancox kicked another excellent goal and Bournemouth had a ‘two-score’ lead at 30-20. The euphoria was promptly dampened when having dropped the restart Bournemouth were penalized as Weston went right from the scrum. They ran the penalty further right and there was Jones showing his pace again to score his second try. From wide out, Mackay again kicked another fine goal and that ‘two score’ lead was no more at 30-27. Two minutes to go, could this all go wrong? There was a palpable determination by the Bournemouth team as they ran down the restart making sure Weston were not going to have an easy time making their way back up field to snatch victory. Play was kept in an around the Weston 22m and a quick check with the referee saw the ball being unceremoniously booted into touch for Bell to blow for no time.

A welcome 5-pointer especially against a side that showed exceptional pace and running skills mixed with some deft three-quarter moves designed to confuse the enemy and break down the defence. It was an enthralling match as perhaps can deduced from the number of times the lead changed if not from the above report. Conker Gin Man of the Match Richard Sharp was outstanding on his return after a two-month absence with his carries constantly getting us over the gain line and his courage in the tackles as we sought to nullify the Weston threat. In the table we remain third but have gained four points on leaders Dings Crusaders but remain two points adrift of second-placed Newton Abbot. Fourth-placed Maidenhead slipped a point further behind having failed to secure a bonus point in their win over Dings.

Next week we are away to Camborne, KO 2.30pm. However check that time before travelling. Don’t want you missing any of the action in this increasingly intriguing campaign

Doug Warren

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