Sat 27 Jan 2018, 15:00
Season 2017/2018 • 31st League Season
South West Premier • Level 5
Dings Crusaders (1st) v Bournemouth (2nd)
Saturday, 27 January 2018, KO 3pm at Lockleaze
Result: Dings Crusaders 30/3t3c3p v 13/tc2p Bournemouth
HT: 17/2t2cp v 3/p
A very wet January ends on a damp note
Bournemouth: Alex Sutherland, Dan Stewart/t, Freddie Gleadowe, Scott Chislett, Alex Everett-Bolter, Grant Hancox/c2p, Sam Hardcastle, Tom Napier, Alan Manning, Luca Firetto, Adam MacDonald, Jack Hennings, Richard Sharp, Alexander Bennett, Joe Rees/C. Substitutes: Harry Davis, Pat Fraser, Mike Treloar. Touch Judge: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Medical Team: Andy Curtis. Records: Scott Chislett extends his own league record of starts as inside centre to 179. Grant Hancox extends his own league record to 103 penalty goals. Sam Hardcastle extends his own league records to 312 starts (299 as scrum-half). Joe Rees extends his own league record to 79 starts as No 8. Milestones: Grant Hancox scores 200 (205) points in a season for the second time, only the second person to do so after Mike Pope in 2008/9 and 2009/0. Alan Manning plays hooker for the 50th time.
Referee: Kevin Williams. Referee Advise: Steve Bowen.
Bournemouth made just one change to the team that faced Cleve last week. Dan Stewart came off the bench, swapping places with right wing Harry Davis.
For the third week in a row, Bournemouth faced difficult conditions especially underfoot. Pretty well constant rain during the morning on the journey to Bristol prompted fears on the coach that the game might be called off. Those fears were unfounded but the pitch was very heavy. That coupled with a strong Westerly breeze blowing straight across the pitch with a drizzle in the air ensured playing conditions were far from ideal. Who was going to cope the best?
Dings (Ben Bolster) kicked off from left to right as viewed from the clubhouse and to their right.
Dings put Bournemouth under pressure right from the start with the forwards keeping it tight initially testing the resolve of the Bournemouth defence before letting the backs have a ‘go’. No 8 Joe Rees was driven back over his own try line when he tried to break out from a 5m scrum after that Bournemouth defence had forced a turnover. Bournemouth were penalized at the scrum and ominously Dings opted for a scrum rather than kicking for goal and they were rewarded when the ball was released right down the ‘short side’ and they were over in the corner. Bolster from wide out kicked an excellent goal in that difficult wind and Bournemouth were 7-nil down after just five minutes. A fluffed restart saw Bournemouth forced to scrum back. This put the visitors on the back foot and despite a typical Chislett effort in taking play to the opposition by getting over the gain line, the ball was lost and Dings kicked long into the Bournemouth 22m where it was ‘marked’ by full back Sutherland. He cleared left but from the line-out, Dings swung the ball wide and, despite the conditions, the threes handled the ball well and they got over wide out on the left. Again Bolster kicked and an excellent goal in that difficult wind to ensure his side lead 14-nil after less than a quarter of an hour’s play. Bournemouth strove hard to get themselves back into the game and a promising move down their left came to nought when reflecting the difficulty Bournemouth were having in breaking down the home defence, a long miss to left wing Everett-Bolter didn’t go to hand and Dings had a line-out. From the this promising attacking position Bournemouth found themselves back in the own half and when they were penalized for not ‘rolling away’ when chasing down a Hardcastle clearance kicked, Bolster pinned them even further back by finding touch inside the Bournemouth 22m. Going right from the line-out, Dings were awarded another penalty this time in front of the posts and Bolster kicked the goal to increase the advantage to 17-nil. Things weren’t going well from a Bournemouth perspective. Dings, largely through the kicking of scrum-half Steve Plummer, pinned Bournemouth back forcing them to give up what ever hard fought ground they might have won. This time it was Gleadowe who had to ‘mark’ a Dings kick but he failed to find touch to his left but Dings kicked the ball straight out so it amounted to same thing in the end. Dings, however, ‘nicked’ the line-out but at least had the decency to knock the ball as they moved it left. Dings were caught offside outside their 22m and Hancox was asked to kick for goal. From right of the posts, the fly-half judged his kick perfectly into that strong wind as
he saw the ball curve inside the far post to make the score 3-17. Rees fielded the restart and immediately fed Hanox outside him. The fly-half kicked right but failing to find touch, Ding set up an aggressive counter attack and with Bournemouth forced to defend equally aggressively their were relived for a Dings knock-on and referee Kevin Williams blowing his whistle to end the half.
Plummer kicked the restart back and it was hard work for Bournemouth to work the ball back up field. However all that good work was undone when Dings turned rhe ball over and broke outh down their left. To make matters worse Bournemouth were penalized and Bournemouth found themselves defending a Dings throw-in inside their own 22m. Bournemouth retrieved the situation by winning the ball when Dings knocked on. Dings drove Bournemouth back in the scrum but were penalized for ‘boring in’. Bournemouth took play into the Dings half but a knock gave Dings the put in at a scrum. A Bolster grubber kick again forced Bournemouth back. Bournemouth struggled to contain Dings and when right wing Harry Tovey came off his wing as Dings attacked off a line-out, he almost found his way through but a Bournemouth offside gave enabled Boltser to kick his fourth goal of the afternoon and they lead 20-3 after just over ten minutes into the half. Hancox almost immediately got those three points ‘back’ when Dings were penalized for ‘crossing’ and the full back kicked the goal from outside the Dings 22m to reduce the deficit at 6-20. In turn this small gain was almost immediately nullified when Bournemouth were penalized for handling on the ground. Bolster found touch to his right where Dings drove off the line-out but although Bournemouth won a scrum they were penalized and Bolster kicked the goal from right of the posts to store their advantage at 23-6. Hennings did well wwhen he fielded the ball when Dings kicked the ball back at the restart taking play into the Dings half. With good ball retention, Bournemouth patiently worked their way into the Dings 22m but frustratingly the ball was lost forward in the contact. Dings kicked from the scum and Everett-Bolter ran it back. Taking play into the Dings 22m Bournemouth’s Dan Stewart managed to force his way over and score under the posts. Hancox kicked the goal and Bournemouth had made a significant dent in the deficit at 13-23 with perhaps twenty minutes to play. At the restart, Bournemouth worked hard through disciplined ball retention to get play back to the half-way line but a knock on enabled Bolster, from the resulting scrum, to undo all that hard work with a grubber kick right deep into the Bournemouth 22m where the defence was finding it difficult to cope. Nonetheless Gleadowe spearheaded a break out but again frustratingly a knock on gave Dings the scrum on the Bournemouth 10m. The Bournemouth defence did well to keep Dings out as they attacked right but again Bournemouth were penalized for not rolling away and Bolster had another kick at goal. This time however, he seemed not allow enough for that strong wind and the ball bounced off the near post back into the field of play. Dings won a scrum as Bournemouth tried to secure the ball and when Dings attacked left they scored in the corner. Making a nonsense of his earlier effort Bolster kicked and excellent goal form a much more difficult situation and he probably put the game beyond Bournemouth’s reach at 30-13. So it proved. With players encouraging each other to greater efforts and despite some spirited play Bournemouth could not find their way through. In fact they found themselves on the defensive before the ball was kicked into touch and Williams blew for no side.
Disappointed to have lost, especially by such a large margin. Dings proved to be stronger on the day but when we did tighten things up in that second half we were competitive albeit under the cosh for much of the time. A 14 point deficit early on was a handicap that was always going to be hard to over come especially against the league leaders. With fellow challengers Newton Abbot and Maidenhead both having their games postponed we remain second. Fifth-placed Cleve also lost, for the first time at home, to an apparently revived Bracknell. Perhaps that result puts our disappointing draw at Lilly Hill Park before Christmas into some sort of perspective
Next week we are at home to Exmouth, KO 2.30pm.