Sun 18 Mar 2018 11:41

Sat 17 Mar 2018, 15:00

Bournemouth RFC

24 - 19

(HT 17-12)

Ivybridge RFC

Bournemouth RFC

Season 2017/2018 • 31st League Season

South West Premier • Level 5

Bournemouth (4th) v Ivybridge (12th)

Saturday, 17 March 2018, KO 3pm at Chapel Gate

Match Sponsored by Allied Surveyors

Result: Bournemouth 24/3t3cp v 19/3t2c Ivybridge
HT: 17/2t2cp v 12/2tc

Great result despite that chill from Russia.

Bournemouth: Alex Sutherland/2t, Dan Stewart, Alex Everett-Bolter, Scott Chislett, Wyn Roberts/t, Grant Hancox/3cp, Sam Hardcastle, Tom Napier, Alan Manning, Luca Firetto, Adam MacDonald, Jo Burns, Richard Sharp, Alexander Bennett, Joe Rees/C. Substitutes: Conrad Carkeet, Ryan, Danny Kirkpatrick, Joe Spiller. Touch Judge: Gavin Fisher. DoR: Will Croker. Coach: Jon Sanchez. Medical Team: Andy Curtis. Records: Sam Hardcastle extended his own league records to 316 starts (303 as scrum-half). Conker Gin Man of the Match: Grant Hancox.

Referee: Andy Green. Referee Adviser: Simon Thomas.

Bournemouth did an ‘Eddie Jones’ with six personnel and three positional changes for this postponed clash against West Country rivals, Ivybridge. Grant Hancox moved from full-back to fly-half in place of Johnny O’Hehir while Alex Sutherland moved from inside centre to take Grant’s place at full-back. The centre partnership of Sutherland and Danny Kirkpatrick was replaced by Scott Chislett at inside centre and Alex Everett-Bolter at outside centre respectively. Danny replaced the unavailable Freddie Gleadowe on the bench. In the forwards, Tom Napier returned from injury to replace Stephen Jenkinson at LH prop whilst Alan Manning moved from No 8 to replace the unavailable Pat Fraser at hooker. Alan was replaced at No 8 by the returning Joe Rees who took over the captaincy from Grant. In the second row, Jo Burns, starting for the first time since 11 April 2015 against Old Redcliffians, replaced the unavailable Jack Hennings. Richard Sharp moved to his accustomed position of BS flanker in place of Matt Warwick and the returning Ali Bennett took over at OS flanker in place of Sharpie. On the bench the other change was Joe Spiller in for Ryan Hughes who failed a late fitness test.

Winter had a sting in its tail with a bitter wind blowing in from the frozen wastes of Russia, the so called ‘Beast from the East’. Grey and overcast inevitably with flurries of snow which died away very soon after the start. After very heavy rain overnight, underfoot was very soft and we are grateful for the efforts by the coaching staff whose gardening skills with forks was still very much in evidence as the rest of us drifted in much later.

Bournemouth (Alex Sutherland) kicked off from right to left as viewed from the stand, ie with the wind, and to their right.

Having lost two successive games on the road against bottom-of-the-table clubs there was a certain nervousness amongst the supporters in playing a third team at the bottom fighting for their lives. The mood wasn’t helped when from a penalty early on, Ivybridge attacked left from a line-out taking play to the Bournemouth 22m. With their tails up, the Ivybridge forwards drove into the 22m and released the ball right where fly-half Matt Grieveson finished off a lively and, from the Bournemouth perspective, worrying attack by scoring in the corner. Full-back Mitch Pinkus’s kick at goal from wide out was kept out by the wind as the ball sailed across the face of the goal. 5-nil up after three minutes. ‘What a start’ might have been reaction of the Ivybridge supporters but you can imagine the Bournemouth’s supporters reaction was less effusive. What’s more, Bournemouth’s restart failed to go the required ten metres for a scrum back. Ivybridge seized the opportunity and attacked first right, then left stretching a desperate Bournemouth defence. Showing good ball retention despite Bournemouth’s efforts, they worked the ball back right and got it into Billy Pinkus’s hands. The big winger needed no second bidding and, doing what wings are supposed to do, made a strong run up to the Bournemouth 22m where he was brought down. Bournemouth were relieved to be awarded a penalty for ‘holding on’ and Sutherland cleared left for a Bournemouth line-out on the half-way line. A strong drive by the forwards, with their counterparts struggling to contain the move, took play to the edge of the Ivybridge 22m where they were penalized. Hancox kicked the first of his four goals and Bournemouth had pegged their visitors back at 3-5 with less than ten minutes played. Both defences worked hard to deny the attacking side any licence and it was a grubber kick that got in behind the defence, which became a favoured option of the afternoon. Such and attempt by Grieveson was overcooked and Bournemouth were able to touch down for a drop-out. Taken quickly the ball found touch beyond the half-way line. Bizarrely, a quick throw-in almost ended in disaster when the chasing Roberts almost caught the ball. Chislett, following up in support, was not quite able to take the bouncing ball but Bournemouth nonetheless took play to the Ivybridge 22m thanks to a Sutherland break where a knock-on halted further progress. Bournemouth recovered the ball at the scrum and going right, Hancox, spotting the full-back was out of position, chipped the ball over the first line of defence for Sutherland to pick up and score. The fly-half kicked an excellent goal from wide out and Bournemouth lead for the first time at 10-5 after some 25 minutes play. Any euphoria we might of felt in the stand was quickly dampened when Ivybridge ran Sutherland’s clearance back. The run was stopped but an exchange of kicks resulted in an Ivybridge line-out. They ran it left and centre Charlie Briant burst through to score from seemingly out of nowhere. With the conversion Ivybridge had restored their lead at 12-10 just a couple of minutes later. With both sides not able to break down their opponent’s defence after a loose pass here and a knock-on there Bournemouth did well to hold up a dangerous break down the middle and be awarded a scrum for their efforts. Going right there was that grubber kick again and Sutherland just managed to touch down before the ball went ‘dead’ for his second try. Hancox’s conversion meant Bournemouth were able to seek the warmth of the dressing room leading 17-12.

Bournemouth found themselves on the defensive at the start of the second half when a knock-on, as they tried to run the restart back, yielded the put-in to Ivybridge. A strong drive in the scrum recovered the situation and Bournemouth had the put-in instead. A Hardcastle dart put Ivybridge on the back foot with Kirkpatrick, on earlier for the injured Chislett, in support took play into the Ivybridge half. Going right, Hancox kicked further right but the ball bounced out of Roberts’s reach for an Ivybridge line-out inside their own 22m. Although Bournemouth won a scrum at the line-out they were penalized as they attacked left. The dangerous Ivybridge scrum-half Ben Watts broke into the Bournemouth 22m. Bournemouth recovered but going right a knock-on gave the initiative back to Ivybridge. Watts, however, knocked on as he went left. From the scrum on their own 22m Bournemouth kicked. This was returned with some interest and Bournemouth found themselves with a throw-in on their 5m. As some sage remarked that’s awful long way to go to score. Kirkpatrick did his best with a mazy run but fellow centre Everett-Bolter was forced into touch for an Ivybridge line-out as Bournemouth tried to break out down their right. Bournemouth managed to ‘nick’ the ball and Hardcastle kicked high. Although Bournemouth managed to recover the ball they quickly lost it but the Ivybridge kick went ‘dead’ for a 22m drop-out. Ivybridge ran it back into the Bournemouth 22m. There was that chip again and Harrison Legg, who had only just come on, scored with his first touch of the ball. The conversion was good and Ivybridge took the lead at 19-17 for the third time half-way through the second period. As Bournemouth tried to run the restart back a knock-on gave Ivybridge the put-in outside the Bournemouth 10m. Ivybridge kicked but when Stewart and Sutherland combined to run the ball back, the full-back was dispossessed and another Ivybridge grubber kick left saw Bournemouth with a line-out on their 5m. The Bournemouth forwards drove off the lineout and released it left. Roberts had a run but was hauled down inside the Ivybridge half and they kicked the ball left. Referee Green, however, had to adjudicate at a fracas back at the point where the kick was made resulting in yellow cards being shown to Sutherland and his fellow antagonist. The result was an Ivybridge put-in on their 10m. Going left Ivybridge contrived to kick the ball straight out and they were back on their 10m but defending a Bournemouth line-out. Another knock-on and then a penalty for not ‘rolling away’ rather spoilt that little advantage and Ivybridge had the throw-in on the Bournemouth 10m. Going right from the line-out, there was another grubber kick and Bournemouth were back on their 5m with an Ivybridge throw-in. They went left but a knock-on resulted in a Bournemouth scrum. Hancox cleared left with Roberts chasing the ball down and Bournemouth had a line-out on the half-way line. Bournemouth drove off the line-out going right. Everett-Bolter made a dent before the ball was worked left into Roberts’s hands. The winger showed real pace to evade the defence and made life easier for his opppo by running round to get closer to the posts to a chorus of slightly relieved cheers from the home crowd. Oppo Hancox kicked his fourth goal of the afternoon and Bournemouth were back in the lead at 24-19 but there was still some ten minutes of tense rugby to brave. Hancox showed typical determination when in possession from a penalty but his kick right failed to find touch. Although Ivybridge managed to clear left Bournemouth still held the advantage with the throw-in on their opponent’s 22m. The tension was ramped up when Ivybridge were first awarded a free kick at the line-out and then a penalty as Bournemouth defended their attack right. Bournemouth found themselves defending a line-out on the own 10m. Ivybridge attacked left and then kicked further left for a Bournemouth line-out. Bournemouth drove off the line-out encouraged by the roar of the crowd and when Hardcastle kicked for territory, Ivybridge kicked the return straight out. With the game going into extra time people were getting agitated, when was the ref going to blow his whistle. Time for another Ivybridge assault when Bournemouth lost the ball in the line-out for an Ivybridge scrum on the half-way line. Bournemouth recovered and took play back into the Ivybridge half. A penalty just outside their 22m saw a discussion about what course of action to take. Kick a goal? Find touch and go for the bonus-point try? The rather pragmatic decision was made to get the ball off the park, via a Hardcastle tap and pass to Hancox who leathered the ball to safety for an assured four points rather than possibly yielding a bonus-point win to the opposition. Green blew to the end the game as the ball landed somewhere in the training area. Did anybody recover it?

That precarious hold on second place I was talking about last week has been reestablished after an astonishing set of results this week when we were the only team in the top four to win, swapping places with Maidenhead. We entertain Maidenhead next week so that should be fun. They failed to score against Brixham today and their away record in general has been dire this season. Let’s make sure we keep it that way and clearly a game not to be missed. Hopefully that chill from Russia will have been replaced by the more familiar warmth from the west. KO is 3pm. About the Hampshire Cup Final clash with Havant at Hooks Lane on Sat 31 March my wife and I have had an invitation for lunch for 11.30, I suppose one would call that brunch, making KO 1pm but please check before travelling. What an entertaining end to the season awaits us. How can one stay away?

Doug Warren

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