Tue 23 Jan 2018 13:41

Sat 20 Jan 2018, 14:00

Bournemouth RFC
Cleve RFC

Bournemouth RFC

Season 2017/2018 • 31st League Season

South West Premier • Level 5

Bournemouth (2nd) v Cleve (5th)

Saturday, 20 January 2018, KO 2pm at Chapel Gate

Match Sponsored by Composite Profiles

Result: Bournemouth 13/2tp v 12/2tc Cleve
HT: 5/t v 12/2tc

13 proves to be a lucky number for the second time in a row

Bournemouth: Alex Sutherland, Harry Davis, Freddie Gleadowe/t, Scott Chislett, Alex Everett-Bolter, Grant Hancox/p, Sam Hardcastle, Tom Napier, Alan Manning, Luca Firetto/t, Adam MacDonald, Jack Hennings, Richard Sharp, Alexander Bennett, Joe Rees/C. Substitutes: Pat Fraser, Dan Stewart, Mike Treloar. Touch Judge: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Medical Team: Andy Curtis. ConkerGin Man of the Match: Alexander Bennett. Records: Scott Chislett extends his own league record of starts as inside centre to 178. Grant Hancox extends his own league record to 101 penalty goals. Sam Hardcastle extends his own league records to 311 starts (298 as scrum-half). Joe Rees extends his own league record to 78 starts as No 8. Milestones: Scott Chislett starts for the 275th time.

Referee: Henry Lowis. Referee Advise: Simon Thomas.

Bournemouth made just a couple of changes to the back line that faced Camborne last week. Alex Sutherland came off the bench and swapped places with full back Dan Stewart while Freddie Gleadowe took over at outside centre in place of Danny Kirkpatrick. The forwards were unchanged.

The weather was nowhere as bad as last week but it did have a go with rain in the morning and just before kick-off just to soften things up underfoot a little more. Over head it was overcast with some thing of a breeze from the West but not too cold.

Cleve (Nathan Huntley) kicked off from left to right as viewed from the stand and to their left and with the wind.

Cleve were clearly ‘up’ for this game demonstrated by their intent as they chased down the kick-off and turning the ball over which Bournemouth were pleased to get back. Cleve kept up this lively start and Bournemouth were happy to ‘touch down’ for a 22m drop out. However, showing good ball retention’, Cleve maintained the pressure with the ball run back deep into the Bournemouth 22m and it was with a certain inevitability that room was made for right wing Brad Kislingbury to get over in the corner. Huntley’s kick for goal shaved the outside of the near post. What a vital miss that proved to be and left the score at 5-nil to the visitors after less than ten minutes play. Bournemouth chased down the restart hard but despite some good possession, the Cleve defence refused to give way under the pressure, an aspect that was to frustrate Bournemouth all afternoon. Openside Bennett combined well with Chislett but the inside centre could not find a way through. Fellow centre Gleadowe continued the move but was held up over the line for a 5m scrum. Bournemouth came close again going left with blindside Sharp from the scrum but referee Henry Lowis came back to an earlier penalty and Hancox found touch to his right on the 5m line. Bournemouth drove off the line-out and tighthead Firetto scored. Hancox’s effort at goal bounced off the near post to leave the scores tied at 5-all with perhaps a quarter-of-an-hour gone. Cleve continued to threaten but Bournemouth had their moments when from a scrum 15 metres out from the Cleve line Bournemouth went right down the short side but ring wing Davis was unable to hold onto a ‘fizzing’ pass and Cleve had a line-out. Cleve knocked on at the line-out and from the scrum Davis had another go down his touchline but was forced into touch. From the line-out scrum-half Alex Kilbane kicked left and an exchange of kicks found Bournemouth with a line-out just outside their 22m. Although captain and No 8 Rees set up a drive, Cleve managed to steal the ball and Bournemouth were penalized in trying to stop the threat. From a line-out on the Bournemouth 5m, Cleve drove over for anyone of a number of forwards to score. Huntley kicked an excellent goal to take his side back into the lead at 12-5 with perhaps five or so minutes to the half-time whistle. With full back Sutherland having to field kicks Bournemouth remained on the defensive. Scrum-half Hardcastle had a characteristic dart but Cleve won a scrum and it was the visitors that were threatening down their left when Lowis blew for half-time.

Bournemouth got the second half off to a good start when Firetto secured the ball at the back of a line-out after Cleve had cleared the restart right. Hooker Manning, who is always looking for work, made a bold charge (one of a number in the afternoon) deep into the Cleve 22m. In the face of this aforesaid determined Cleve scramble defence, Bournemouth found it hard to get over the line but they did retain possession and it was Gleadowe who eventually forced his way over. Hancox from 15 metres in from the righthand touchline managed to hit the near post square enough for the ball to bounce clear but it was very close to going over. Whatever, the score remained at 10-12 just a couple or so minutes into the half. A promising start to recovering the situation. The second half proved to be a war of attrition but crucially Bournemouth denied Cleve possession. However, much as last week, handling was difficult with the ball being lost frustrating some promising moves. From a Bournemouth perspective the crucial point in the second half was halfway through when, despite a patient buildup, Bournemouth were finding it difficult break Cleve down. Nonetheless the pressure must have told as the visitors were penalized and, from some 35 metres out, Hancox kicked his first goal of the afternoon to put his side into the lead for the first time at 13-12. Would this be enough? Bournemouth were determined that it would be and pinned Cleve in their own half as they had largely done so up to now in this second period. Cleve won a vital turnover when left wing Everett-Bolter was dispossessed when coming off his wing he had tried to break through the midfield. A clever chip left in behind the defence saw left wing Pierre Tucker chasing hard but the ball frustratingly eluded him and it was a Bournemouth line-out instead. Going left saw Gleadowe break back inside and when awarded a scrum Bournemouth went left where Hancox took the ball into contact. Bournemouth held onto the ball but that Cleve defence forced the turn over when the ball was ‘lost’ in the contact. From the scrum Cleve took play to the half-way line but when they were penalized for ‘holding on’, Hancox drove them back for a Bournemouth line-out down the left on the Cleve 22m. A ‘not straight’ was recovered when Bournemouth drove over the Cleve scrum and blindside Hennings picked up. As Bournemouth drove forward, there was a quick check with the referee and Hardcastle ended proceedings by kicking the ball off the park.

Another hard fought encounter in difficult conditions but, as at Camborne, a determination not to let their hard-won advantage slip and crucially four points were garnered. Newton Abbot again lost, this time at home to league leaders Dings Crusaders which saw us pull clear in second place but still eleven points behind Dings.

Next week we are away to Dings, KO 2pm. Now there’s something to savour. Please note Dings have yet to move to their new ground at Frenchay and remain at Lockleaze. This is possibly their last game there.

Doug Warren