Mon 19 Feb 2018 21:10

Sat 17 Feb 2018, 15:00

Lydney RFC

47 - 24

(HT 27-5)

Bournemouth RFC

Bournemouth RFC

Season 2017/2018 • 31st League Season

South West Premier • Level 5

Lydney (13th) v Bournemouth (2nd)

Saturday, 17 February 2018, KO 3pm at Regentsholme

Result: Lydney 47/6t4c3p v 24/4t2c Bournemouth
HT: 23/3tc2p v 5/t

Bournemouth get the shakes as an earthquake strikes in the West

Bournemouth: Grant Hancox/t2c, Harry Davis, Alex Everett-Bolter, Danny Kirkpatrick, Dan Stewart, Johnny O’Hehir, Sam Hardcastle, Tom Napier. Pat Fraser, Alan Manning/t, Adam MacDonald, Mike Treloar, Jack Hennings/t, Richard Sharp, Joe Rees/C. Substitutes: David McDonald, Wyn Ropberts/2t, Joe Spiller. Touch Judge: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Medical Team: Steve Trapp. League Debut: Johnny O’Hehir. Records: Jack Hennings extended his own blindside flanker record to 94 appearances. Sam Hardcastle extended his own league records to 314 starts (301 as scrum-half). Joe Rees extended his own No 8 league record to 81 appearances.

Referee: Zerren Bell. Referee Advise: Steve Bowen.

Bournemouth had to totally revamp their back line for the visit to Lydney. Fly-half Grant Hancox was moved to full back to replace the unavailable Alex Sutherland and Johnny O’Hehir made his league debut in place of Grant. With Scott Chislett’s injury, Danny Kirkpatrick was moved from outside centre to the inside berth and Alex Everett-Bolter was moved from left wing to replace. Dan Stewart replaced Alex on the left wing. Otherwise right wing Harry Davis and scrum-half Sam Hardcastle remained in situ. In the forwards, hooker Alan Manning was moved to tighthead prop in place of the injured Luca Firetto. In the second row Mike Treloar came off the bench to replace Jack Hennings who moved to blindside flanker to replace Richard Sharp who moved to openside in place of the unavailable Alexander Bennett. On the bench Wyn Roberts was making his first XV appearance since 7 October against Dings Crusaders.

It was a beautiful sunny day with blue skies giving us a foretaste of the renewal of life Spring promises with little detectable wind. Underfoot it was a little soft but considering some of the recent weather we have all suffered it was in good shape

Bournemouth kicked off from left to right as viewed from the stand and to their left.

From a Bournemouth perspective, this match had a slightly surreal feel about it. We never seemed to be out of it as the final score might suggest but there we were about to score and suddenly our opponents were scoring at the other end. The start was typical. We recover the kick off and there was Hardcastle going for the corner but is forced into touch on the Lydney 5m. They clear left for Bournemouth line-out. We drive of the line-out, all very promising, but are dispossessed and referee Zerren Bell is talking to the two captains. Lydney have a penalty and the next thing we concede another penalty but this time on our own 22m and outside centre Ollie Locke makes no mistake and the Severnsiders lead 3-nil after, what, five minutes or so. Disappointing. Five minutes later after knock-ons and forward passes, Lydney recover the ball on their right. A kick ahead goes deep behind the Bournemouth defence. Bournemouth fail to secure the ball and, out of nowhere it seems, Bournemouth conceded a try to centre Steve Parry and Locke made the situation even worse by kicking his second goal of the day for Lydney to lead 10-nil. Even more disappointing. How do you think we felt when Lydney came straight back from the restart. The ball was kicked deep and Josh Hannan, I think it was, recovered the ball and scored. Locke showed some mercy I suppose by pushing his effort across the face of the goal but Lydney were three scores ahead at 15-nil after less than a quarter-of-an-hour. We might have enjoyed the views crossing the Severn bridge but this wasn’t pretty. When they controlled the ball, Bournemouth threatened but made far too many mistakes to dent the Lydney defence. What was worse, Lydney capitalized on the loose play. Ball lost in a promising Bournemouth attack. A hefty fly-hack into the corner and there was Joe McClean scoring another try for Lydney. I’ll save Locke’s blushes by saying the score was now 20-nil with a quarter of the game gone. Rather as before, a fly-hack when the ball went loose from the restart and Bournemouth’s attempts to control the situation were penalized and Locke kicked his third goal of the afternoon and Lydney were four scores ahead at 23-nil. Perhaps it would have been better if the Severn bridge had been closed. Blame the earthquake or something. Nonetheless Bournemouth got the sniffer dogs out and they got to work to see if there was any life in amongst the rubble. Their efforts and persistence were rewarded when full back Hancox got over in the corner with the last play of the half but the halftime oranges couldn’t have tasted very sweet at 5-23 down.

Any optimism there might have been generated at halftime was quickly dented when after an exchange of kicks, Bournemouth failed to secure the ball on the ground and prop Brian McNube was on hand to score. Locke stretched the lead away to 30-5 less than five minutes into the half. From the restart, Bournemouth showed good ball retention with Manning and Hennings combining but a knock on inside the Lydney 22m saw Lydney make an enterprising break out. Bournemouth were penalized in trying to stop the attack and found themselves defending a line-out on their 22m. The Lydney forwards worked the ball infield, and replacement prop John Barker, who had only just come on, was over under the posts. Locke doesn’t miss those sorts of kicks and Lydney went even further ahead at 37-5 with perhaps a half-an-hour to go. Soon after the restart it was Bournemouth’s turn to capitalize on a Lydney mistake. When Lydney lost the ball in contact going right, Everett-Bolter managed to get boot to ball and Roberts, on earlier to replace right wing Harry Davis but swopped places with left wing Stewart, won the foot race to score wide out on the left. Very gratifyingly, Hancox kicked the goal to reduce the deficit to a mere 25 points at 12-37 quarter-of-an-hour into the half. Again frustratingly good Bournemouth possession was undone by Lydney managing to steal the ball in the contact but when Hancox chipped the ball into the Lydney 22m Lydney were penalized and a Lydney player yellow carded. Hancox found touch to his right. Although Lydney drove Bournemouth back, they managed to retain control and released the ball left. A miss pass out to Roberts and the winger did his bit for the cause and was over wide out on the left to make the score 17-37 half-way through the half. Lydney struck straight back with excellent possession and a dangerous attack into the Bournemouth 22m where Bournemouth were awarded a scrum under the posts. Rees broke off the back but the ball was lost. Bournemouth were penalized and Locke did the rest. 40-17 with fifteen minutes to go. Bournemouth won a penalty at the restart and Hancox found touch to his right. Although Lydney countered the Bournemouth drive, the forwards retained the ball working infield where Hennings got over under the posts for a bonus point. Hancox kicked the goal to leave the score at 24-40 with ten minutes to go. Bournemouth’s afternoon was neatly summed when at the death, Bournemouth were disposed as they pressed to score, Lydney broke out but despite a valiant tackle of the ball carrier on the half-way line, Tai Lakabuka was there in support to run in unopposed and score under the posts. Locke duly added the two points to make, what turned out to be (wouldn’t want to make any worse would we?), the final score 47-24. Time for a restart but a ‘not straight’ at a line-out brought Bournemouth’s misery to an end.

What can one say. Second bottom turns over second placed team by some margin says it all. Ironically we get a rare try-scoring bonus point. Part of an interesting mix of results though and high scoring to boot. How does one view Maidenhead giving up their 100% home record to Newbury Blues also by some margin. What about Hornets, also, turning over Brixham as they shared, a little unevenly, 84 points between them. The up shot is we remain a precarious second but third place Newton Abbot and fourth placed Maidenhead have a game in hand with both teams having games next week to catch up. We have next week off so we will no what the score is when return to action on the first Saturday in March entertaining Ivybridge on the 3rd. Please note KO is 3pm folks.

Doug Warren

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