Sat 7 Apr 2018, 14:30
South West Premier
Brixham (7th) v Bournemouth (2nd)
Saturday, 7 April 2018, KO 2.30pm at Astley Park
Result: Brixham 18/6p v 31/3t2c4p Bournemouth
HT: 18/6p v 15/2tcp
Bournemouth take a decisive step towards that Play-off Place
Bournemouth: Danny Kirkpatrick, Dan Stewart/t, Freddie Gleadowe, Scott Chislett, Alex Everett-Bolter Grant Hancox/2c4p, Sam Hardcastle/t, Joe Spiller, Alan Manning, Luca Firetto, Conrad Carkeet, Jack Hennings, Richard Sharp, Alexander Bennett/t, Joe Rees/C. Substitutes: Harry Davis, Pat Fraser, Mike Treloar. Touch Judges: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Medical Team: Andy Curtis. Full League Debut: Conrad Carkeet. Man of the Match: Scott Chislett. Club League Career Records: Grant Hancox sets a new record of 277 goals, overtaking Dan Pollard’s 275 set in 2013/4; extends his own record to 114 penalty goals. Sam Hardcastle extends his own records to 318 starts (305 as scrum-half), 963 points and 186 tries. Scott Chislett extends his own inside centre starts record to 183. In the Season: Grant remains leading scorer now on 273 points with 59 conversions and 45 penalty goals (which equals his own season record set last season). Sam Hardcastle remains leading try scorer with 14, his fifth highest season total in his career. Farewell: We say ‘goodbye’ to Harry Davis who is off to try his luck in Australia. We wish him well.
Referee: Zerren Bell.
Team Selection: Danny Kirkpatrick starts at full-back for the first time. Conrad Carkeet makes his full league debut while Joe Spiller makes his first start this season.
The afternoon proved to be largely fine and sunny after pretty persistent morning rain with a gentle, what I take to be, Northerly breeze on the assumption the stand faces East, i.e. the breeze blew from left to right as viewed from the stand. Always slightly disoriented at Brixham. Underfoot it proved to be very heavy despite appearances from the comfort of the stand.
Brixham (fly-half Tom Putt) kicked off from left to right as viewed from the stand and to their right, i.e with the aforesaid breeze.
Bournemouth got off to a great start when a Chislett tackle midfield stopped Brixham in their tracks as they attacked left off a line-out from Bournemouth’s clearance from the kick-off. The ball was turned over and in Hardcastle’s hands. The scrum-half dummied right but stepped through the defence and, shaking off a despairing grab at him, scampered away to score under the posts. His fellow half-back, Hancox made no mistake and Bournemouth were on their way at 7-nil after barely a couple of minutes. He did something similar against Maidenhead a fortnight ago don’t you recall. In what proved to be an alarming, at least to Bournemouth’s eyes, feature of the game, fly-half Putt banged over the first of his six penalty goals just a couple so minutes later after Bournemouth were guilty of ‘holding on’, 7-3. Despite the cloying underfoot conditions Bournemouth showed a willingness to play some enterprising running rugby. Hardcastle fielded a Brixham kick clear and went right where centre Freddie Gleadowe took play back into the Brixham half. Coming back left, left wing Alex Everett-Bolter had a run supported by Hardcastle who kept the move going into the Brixham 22m. Alexander Bennett was there in support but the flanker was stopped just short of the line. Brixham were penalized in their attempts to stop this flowing movement and from in front of the posts Hancox nullified Putt’s earlier effort and Bournemouth lead 10-3. Nonetheless Brixham struck straight back, again through the boot of Putt, when Bournemouth were penalized for ‘not rolling away’ and, from 15 metres out, the fly-half kicked his second goal for 10-6. Worse followed when straight from the restart Bournemouth failed to secure the ball on the ground and were penalized for their troubles just short of their line. Putt gave himself room by coming back to the 22m line and duly kicked his third goal, 10-9. Captain Joe Rees had a ‘word’ with the referee Zerren Bell to find out where Bournemouth were ‘going wrong’. Hancox went right from the restart but when they came back left, Brixham were penalized. Manning took a ‘quick one’ but Brixham turned the ball over for Putt to clear right for a Bournemouth line-out on the Brixham 10m. Bournemouth, initially, drove off the line-out before releasing the ball right. They got the ball into Stewart’s hands who made a strong run for the line. Despite being tackled on the line, the winger had the strength and presence of mind to roll over and touch the ball down for a typical winger’s try. Hancox pushed his effort across the face of the goal to leave the score at 15-9 with quarter of the game gone. Again Putt immediately pegged Bournemouth back when they were penalized for ‘holding on’ as they tried to run the restart back. From some 27 metre out the fly-half unerringly put the ball between the uprights to make the score 15-12. Going left at the restart, Bournemouth forced the knock-on in the contact. Going right from the scrum, Stewart came off his wing to take play back left but Brixham turned the ball over and Putt’s kick right meant Bournemouth had a line-out on their own 22m. When Bournemouth released the ball right Brixham turned the ball over and set a strong counter attack showing good ball retention as they took it back into the Bournemouth 22m. However they ‘lost’ the ball but Bournemouth’s clearance kick failed to find touch. As Brixham attacked left Bournemouth were caught offside wide out on their right but that was no problem to Putt and he duly punished Bournemouth with his fifth goal to tie up the scores at 15-all. Flanker Bennett did well to catch the restart to set up a Bournemouth attack right. Manning made a dent and Stewart was off his wing looking for work to link with his fellow wing. Everett-Bolter came back in field to link with Chislett but Brixham turned the ball over and cleared right for a Bournemouth line-out on the Brixham 10m. Driving off the line-out, the forwards released to Hardcastle. The scrum-half made a break but Brixham were awarded a scrum for a Bournemouth knock-on on the Brixham 22m. Although Brixham attacked strongly they didn’t get very far beyond their own 22m when they knocked on for a Bournemouth scrum. Bournemouth contrived to lose it and Brixham released the ball left and Putt kicked to be fielded by Everett-Bolter. The clearance kick failed to find touch and Brixham attacked left but couldn’t exploit a clear overlap left. Bournemouth were penalized in any case for being offside and captain Joe Rees was shown a yellow card as a team sanction for a misdemeanour too far. Putt ended the half by kicking his sixth goal which meant his side went into the break in the lead at 18-15.
Brixham attacked from the restart but when they were penalized on the Bournemouth 22m, Hardcastle made a break and the scrum-half took play into the Brixham half before he was finally hauled down. Manning managed to secure the ball to keep the move going but as the move gathered momentum Bournemouth were penalized for ‘crossing’ and Brixham cleared right for a line-out on the half-way line. Going left the Brixham left winger JP Simonetti had a strong run into the Bournemouth 22m. Bournemouth managed to recover the ball and kicked right for a Brixham line-out on their 10m. A neat throw to the front caught Bournemouth off guard and the Brixham forward was finally brought down on the Bournemouth 10m. An enterprising attack was finally brought to an end and Hancox was relieved to find touch to his right. Brixham were again penalized having turned the ball over as Bournemouth attacked left and Hancox pushed them back inside their own 22m. From the line-out, Bournemouth maintained the pressure and flanker Bennett was rewarded for all his hard work by eventually forcing his way over out on the left. Hancox kicked his third goal of the afternoon and Bournemouth were back in the lead at 22-18 some ten minutes into the half. Bournemouth soon increased their lead when Brixham cleared from a line-out on their right and Harry Davis, on for left wing Everett-Bolter, had a strong run back deep into Brixham territory. The ball went right and the home side were penalized on their own 5m. From right of the posts Hancox kicked his fourth goal of the afternoon and Bournemouth lead 25-18 half-way through the second period. Bournemouth promptly repeated the process when a Hardcastle foray was stopped and Brixham were penalized for ‘coming in at the side’ and, from the Brixham 10m, Hancox kicked his record-breaking goal for the club and Bournemouth went into a ‘two-score’ lead at 28-18. There was a moment of alarm for Bournemouth as a wide pass left from the restart was intercepted, it took a determined Bournemouth defence to stop Brixham getting through and was only stopped in front of the posts for a Bournemouth scrum. Danny Kirkpatrick made a half break and the ball was kicked right but only as far as the 22m for a Brixham line-out. Bournemouth retrieved the situation by winning the line-out and spun the ball wide to their left. Davis had another characteristic storming run, aren’t we going to miss those, taking play into the Brixham half. Manning was on hand to maintain the momentum and when Brixham were penalized in their attempts to stem the flow, Hancox, from the 22m and in front of the posts, kicked his sixth goal of the afternoon and Bournemouth led 31-18 with perhaps quarter-of-an-hour to go. Strive as they might for Brixham to break them down Bournemouth refused to yield. The Fisherman. I’m sure, would have considered themselves unlucky to be denied a score when they were adjudged to be ‘held up’ over the line with five minutes to go. Nonetheless Bournemouth destroyed their scrum on their put in and were able to clear the danger. So it was all desperate stuff in those last minutes but Bournemouth strove mightily to make sure they kept their play-off hopes alive.
A tough-fought match and the first defeat Brixham have suffered at home since September. So this was no ‘gimme’ and the mood on the way home reflected on how the lads thought about their achievement. The win took on added lustre when news came through, the wonders of modern technology, of Maidenhead’s defeat at home at the hands of local rivals Bracknell which meant our lead had stretched to a pretty formidable eight points with just two games to go. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that a win next week against fourth-placed Newton Abbot, who didn’t play today, secures that play-off place. Finally, you might ask how I hardly mentioned Man of the Match Scott Chislett in the above missive. Suffice to say he always gave us ‘go forward’ in any three-quarter move with his ball-carrying dents and that ability to off load in the contact to keep the movement going for Bournemouth to take advantage of his efforts. Couple that with his-bone shaking tackles and you have a rounded performance of a very modest player whole-heartedly committed to the Bournemouth cause and instrumental in their success. Well done Scott today and on so many occasions in the past. A great Bournemouth servant. We also said ‘goodbye’ to Harry Davis who is off to Australia. As an ex Brixham lad it was a very poignant that both clubs were able join together to wish him well on his great adventure.