Sat 14 Apr 2018, 15:00
South West Premier
Bournemouth (2nd) v Newton Abbot (4th)
Match Sponsored by Laceys Solicitors
Saturday, 14 April 2018, KO 3pm at Chapel Gate
Result: Bournemouth 51/7t5c2p v 41/7t6c Newton Abbot
HT: 27/3t3c2p v 26/4t3c
Bournemouth clinch play-off spot in 14-try thriller
Bournemouth: Danny Kirkpatrick, Dan Stewart/t, Freddie Gleadowe/t, Scott Chislett/t, Alex Everett-Bolter Grant Hancox/5c2p, Sam Hardcastle/2t, Joe Spiller, Alan Manning, Luca Firetto, Conrad Carkeet, Jack Hennings/t, Richard Sharp, Alexander Bennett/t, Joe Rees/C. Substitutes: Pat Fraser, Alex Sutherland, Mike Treloar. Touch Judges: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Medical Team: Andy Curtis and Steve Trapp. Man of the Match: Scott Chislett. Club League Career Records: Grant Hancox extends his own records to 116 penalty goals and 284 goals. Sam Hardcastle extends his own records to 319 starts (306 as scrum-half), 973 points and 188 tries. Scott Chislett extends his own inside centre starts record to 184. In the Season: Grant remains leading scorer now on 289 points with 64 conversions and 47 penalty goals (which sets a new season record). Sam Hardcastle remains leading try scorer with 16, his fifth highest season total in his career. 1st XV Honours Tie: Pat Fraser.
Referee: Sam Phillips. Referee Adviser: Simon Thomas.
Team Selection: Just one change to the team that played Brixham last week; Alex Sutherland coming in for the now departed Harry Davis on the bench.
The weather was fine and sunny with a gentle Southerly breeze which blew across the pitch. Underfoot the pitch was at last drying out and was firm enough.
Newton (fly-half Rob Avery-Wright) kicked off from left to right as viewed from the stand and to their left.
A fortunate bounce enabled Firetto to tidy up and Bournemouth attacked left. Newton were penalized outside their 22m but from 5m in from touch Hancox pushed his effort pass the near post. The Newton drop out was a quick tap and blindside flanker Onehunga Kaufusi had an early chance to show what a threat he was going to be all afternoon by continuing the attack with a strong run into the Bournemouth 22m where he was eventually brought down by the covering Hardcastle. The ball was turned over and Bournemouth went right. In a surging move down that wing who was on hand to take that killer inside but the impish scrum-half and he was over under the posts in a trice. I'm sure Hancox was grateful to his fellow half-back for making his task of kicking the conversion so easy and Bournemouth led 7-nil after four minutes. Newton responded immediately with Kafusi featuring again with the strong-running outside centre Josh Smith finishing off a thrilling sweeping move by scoring wide out on the right. Two phases of play to set the tone for an exciting, too exciting for some of us, afternoon of rugby football. Avery-Wright pulled his kick at goal across the face of the goal to leave the score at 7-5 to Bournemouth after just six minutes play for heaven's sake. Are we going to keep this pace up all afternoon? There's only so much a spectator can take. Bournemouth responded in turn and pressure in the Newton 22m saw them giving away a penalty for 'taking' the man with out the ball. From just 10 metres out in front of the posts, Hancox restored some of that former advantage by kicking the goal to lead 10-5 after less than a quarter-of-an-hour. Once again Newton came straight back at the restart when Bournemouth knocked on. From the scrum, scrum-half Ollie Avery-Wright got his threes going first to the left. The move switched right and the Bournemouth defence did well to keep the strong-running threes out but Newton were not to be denied and when the ball was moved back left No 8 and captain Jarryd Vickridge forced his way over to tie up the scores. Avery-Wright kicked his side into the lead for the first time at 12-10. Continuing this frantic pattern of play, Bournemouth recovered the restart right but, disappointingly, a poor pass coming back left was not taken for a Newton scrum. The kick clear was fielded by Kirkpatrick and the full-back set up a thrilling counter attack with some great inter-passing which saw right wing Stewart score, with a typical strong run, right of the posts. Hancox kicked his third goal and Bournemouth were back in the lead at 17-12 half-way through the first period. In a worrying aspect of the game Bournemouth didn't handle the restart well and Newton had a scrum the result of a knock-on. However Bournemouth turned the ball over and attacked left but Bennett was forced into touch for a Newton line-out on the half-way line. However loosehead Spiller was left behind nursing a shoulder injury to be replaced by Fraser. From the line-out, Newton went left but the move broke down and Stewart fed Hancox who kicked right for a Newton line-out on their 5m. Bournemouth recovered the ball and attacked strongly left where Newton were penalized for 'not rolling away' and Hancox, from left of the posts, stretched the lead by three points to 20-12 after 25 minutes. Again Newton recovered the restart and attacked right. Left wing Jonny Brown had a dangerous run and Bournemouth did well to force Harris into touch just ten metres out as the visitors switched play back left. Bennett secured the ball but as his fellow forwards drove there was a knock-on for a Newton scrum inside the Bournemouth 22m. When Newton attacked right, a strong tackle by Chislett forced the turn over. Perhaps unwisely, especially in light of what was to transpire, Bournemouth tried to run it from deep but a forward pass conceded the advantage to Newton. From the scrum just ten metres there was an air of certainty of what was about to happen when full-back William Castleton went over in the left hand corner. Avery-Wright cruelly twisted the knife a little further by kicking a fine goal to bring his side to within one point at 19-20 after half-an-hour. Kirkpatrick restarted right and Newton ran the ball back right where Gleadowe just managed to hang on to the ball carrier preventing him breaking free. Nonetheless Newton retained the ball and went left. They kicked further left but Stewart was unable to catch an awkward bouncing ball and Bournemouth had a line-out on their 10m. Going left Hennings had a run with Hardcastle in support. The scrum-half kicked. Full-back Castleton cleared left and Bournemouth ran it back left. With referee Sam Phillips playing advantage after a Newton turnover he eventually brought play back to the Newton 10m on their right. Scrum-half Avery-Wright span the ball left where they had a line-out. Attacking first right and then back left, the dangerous Kaufusi made another dent but Chislett turned the ball over although Newton promptly returned the compliment and went left. Bournemouth were penalized for 'not rolling away' and Newton kept the momentum going with a 'quick' penalty going left taking play into the Bournemouth 22m and tighthead Tom White scored wide out. Avery-Wright kicked another excellent goal and Newton were back in the lead 26-20 with less than five minutes of the half left. Still time for a score in this topsy turvey half? Kirkpatrick again restarted right and again Bournemouth recovered the ball and came left. Stewart, looking for work, came off his wing and came back right. The winger linked with centre Gleadowe who chipped the ball forward where it was scooped up by Hardcastle who spotted his second of the afternoon right of the posts. Hancox kicked the goal and Bournemouth were back in the lead 27-26. The half ended with an exchange of kicks before Kirkpatrick cleared to touch to his left for Phillips to blow.
Inside centre Cameron Fogden set the alarm bells ringing when he ran the restart back, taking play into the Bournemouth 22m. His fellow threes were there in support going right and right wing Kyle Browne was over in the corner. Avery-Wright, from wide out, kicked his fourth goal of the afternoon and Newton had regained the lead at 33-27 after just a minute of the second half. What you can do we can do better seemed to be the mantra of the afternoon. Although Newton
showed great enterprise and a willingness to run and pass the ball, a Bournemouth turnover saw Bournemouth counter back right and Gleadowe was forced into touch inside the Newton 22m. Newton drove off the line-out before kicking. Stewart and Kirkpatrick combined in running it back and they linked with left wing Everett-Bolter who made ground back right infield. The forwards were there in support and flanker Bennett scored for the second successive match to the right of the posts. Hancox kicked the goal and Bournemouth had regained the lead at 34-33 after five minutes of the half and their first try-scoring bonus point for eleven matches. Newton restarted left fielded by No 8 Rees who fed Hardcastle who, in turn, kicked. The Newton return kick was knocked on for a Newton scrum on the Bournemouth 10m. Bennett almost intercepted the ball as the Newton scrum-half struggled to control the ball at the base of the scrum but he, nonetheless, managed to whip it right and Newton kicked for a Bournemouth line-out inside their own 22m. Bournemouth drove off the line-out before releasing to Hardcastle. The scrum-half kicked high and a good follow-up forced Newton to concede a penalty. Hancox found touch to his left inside the Newton 22m. Having first driven the ball, the forwards released it to Hardcastle who in turn found Chislett. The inside centre burst through only to be brought back for a forward pass. From a scrum the Newton 10m they went left but Bournemouth turned the ball over and Stewart had a run while Phillips played advantage. None was gained and play was brought back to the original Newton knock-on. Newton were penalized at the scrum and Hardcastle took a quick penalty and went left to link with Kirkpatrick. Again the Bournemouth pass went forward but subsequently Bournemouth regained possession and amounted an effective attack down the right flank maintaining good possession with good support in the face of a determined defence enabling Gleadowe to eventually outflank the defence and score wide out on the right. Hancox pushed his kick at goal beyond the far post but Bournemouth had increased their lead to 39-33 after 12 or so minutes into the half. Fatally Bournemouth knocked on at the restart and Newton recovered the ball. With Phillips playing advantage, Newton swept right and simply overwhelmed the defence with flanker Kaufusi scoring right of the posts. Thus in just about a minute or so, Avery-Wright’s kick had snuffed out Bournemouth’s hard-won lead to leave the score 40-39. Kirkpatrick restarted left and Avery-Wright cleared right for a Bournemouth line-out on the half-way line. Initially the forwards drove the ball before releasing it right. Flanker Sharp was on hand to make a dent before the ball was released back left where Hennings ran the ball into the Newton 22m but a knock-on in the contact yielded a scrum to Newton. Harris broke off the back going right before the move continued back left where the defenders were penalized for a high tackle. Avery-Wright found touch further to his left for a Newton line-out on the Bournemouth 10m. A ball to the front of the line-out almost caught Bournemouth off guard. When stopped Newton released the ball right where the Newton threes came on to the ball at pace stretching the Bournemouth defence and putting it under immense pressure. However they did manage to turn the ball over for a Bournemouth scrum. Hardcastle chipped the ball right for a Newton line-out quickly taken and Bournemouth were penalized for a tip tackle after Phillips had played a pretty long advantage. Avery-Wright found touch to his left inside the Bournemouth 22m. Newton went right off the line-out, their threes threatening but ran into each other for a Bournemouth scrum just metres from their own line. Rees broke off the back but the ball was spilt in the tackle for a Newton scrum just outside the Bournemouth 22m. With the aforesaid air of inevitability the strong-running Newton backs first went left then back right for full-back Castleton to eventually score. With Avery-Wright kicking the goal Newton had built a two-score lead with just ten minutes, of this pulsating match, to go and the prospect for Bournemouth of just a try-scoring bonus point. More to come however and how. A stunned Bournemouth restarted left with Kirkpatrick’s drop kick and routinely, if one should ever use such a mundane expression in the context of this match, Avery-Wright cleared right for a Bournemouth line-out on the Newton 10m. Bournemouth first went right with Chislett making inroads into the Newton defence. It came back left into the hands of Evertett-Bolter who made ground coming back inside. He found Chislett on his outside and the indefatigable centre crashed over in that left corner to roars from a very excitable crowd who had, by now, become satiated by this seemingly endless spectacle in front of them. Not exactly Roman Coliseum stuff of course but mighty close. Who was going to get the thumbs down? Hancox didn’t kick the goal but at 44-47 at least they had earned themselves a losing-bonus point. Newton restarted left and Bennett demonstrated the value of securing the restart and Bournemouth released the ball left. Alex Sutherland, having come on for left wing Everett-bolter, had a typical robust run down that left flank and Bournemouth worked the ball into the Newton 22m. Newton defended robustly but from some 15 metres out Hennings was simply not going to be denied and with a Herculean effort refused to be contained by the would-be tacklers and, to a roar your correspondent has not witnessed at Chapel Gate before, crashed over under the posts. Hancox made sure Newton needed a try to win the match with Bournemouth leading 51-47 with six long minutes to go. And there hangs a tale. Six minutes is an awfully long time in a game of rugby football especially when you consider that play will continue until the ball goes out of play. Newton made sure the drama went to the end. After the restart a Newton knock-on gave Bournemouth the put-in at a scrum. That’s good. That’ll run the clock down. The scrum was reset. Even better. Rees breaks off the back. Sharp is there in support looking for that break through. Disaster. Turn over. Newton back in possession. They go left. Left wing Jonny Brown kicks forward into the Bournemouth 22m. A frantic chase. How will this fickle odd-shaped ball bounce? You know what it bounces in Bournemouth’s favour and finds the sanctuary of the touch. Thank goodness for that. Otherwise? Game over as far as Bournemouth were concerned. More to come folks though. Not certain what happened next, too busy with my nose in my notebook I’m afaid, but Bournemouth contrived to lose the ball at the line-out. What I do know the upshot was those dangerous Newton threes were back in typical action going at the Bournemouth defence. The ball was swiftly through the hands as they looked for that vital space and when it looked certain a score was on the cards, that crucial final pass right couldn’t be taken. The ball went directly into touch and the crowd went wild as referee Phillips blew for no side to leave Bournemouth relived winners.
‘Never in doubt’ some wag said afterwards and we all appreciate the humour but what a match in front of a big crowd who were richly entertained. Not many sides will score seven tries and lose a match but The All Whites demonstrated why they have been in contention all season. With Bournemouth going into the match knowing a win would secure that play-off place and Newton knowing that a win for them would keep their own ambitions alive, a match of high quality reflected those lofty aspirations. Newton were disappointed of course but generous in defeat and we wish them well for the remainder of the season. For us, looking ahead, we play Newbury Blues next week at Monks Lane in the final league match of the season. Where do these seasons go? Looking further ahead the South play-off is on Saturday 28 April but who we play will be decided next week. It’s between Barnes, Guernsey or Tring. What we do know it will be away. Watch this space or more accurately the website.