Awayday blues continue for Bournville

Clifton 48 Bournville 5

Bournville’s search for a first away win of the season goes on after a day in which very little went right and most things went wrong.

They had to travel to Station Road with a re-jigged back division cause by an injury to fly-half Jacob Fewtrell but were forced to further re-arrange the three-quarters when wing Alex Evans suffered a back spasm in the warm-up.

That meant Mark Coulson was promoted to the starting XV with Sam Grimshaw switched to the wing and Director of Rugby Paul Sumner forced to put on his boots to take his place on the bench.

Sumner made a cameo appearance for the final 10 minutes – his first senior outing in four years – but Jake Bailey, still recovering from a hand injury, was not required after he also unexpectedly found himself included in the matchday squad after Joe Nellany pulled up lame in the warm-up.

Against a side beaten only once at home this season, Bournville needed to be at full strength and on their game if they were to take anything against a side who beat Luctonians the previous week.

But they were neither and Clifton eased to a comfortable win with Bournville again heading back up the M5 empty-handed with only an early Josh Bloomfield to show for their efforts.

Clifton had the wind and slop advantage in the first-half and they made both count as they eased into a 31-5 lead at the break.

Scrum-half Mitch Spencer crossed in the first minute and although Bloomfield levelled with a well-worked try three minutes later, Clifton had the bonus point wrapped up within 23 minutes as number eight Kofi Cripps and centres Marcus Nel and Will Owen scythed through.

Blindside flanker Rob Nixon went over for the fifth try before a long period of pressure from Bournville went unrewarded with an interception when they were within sight of the Clifton line.

With the wind behind them and the slope in their favour in the second-half Bournville were in with a sniff of securing at least a try bonus point.

But skipper Chris Idehen was yellow-carded for a high tackle two minutes after the re-start and Clifton drove Nixon over for his second try from the resulting penalty which they kicked to the corner.

That was the only score while Idehen was on the naughty step but shortly after he returned Bournville went back down to 14 with Louis Mifsud being sin-binned. Clifton applied the punishment with Ioan Emanuel going over from close range.

Bournville then enjoyed their best period of pressure in attack but they could not penetrate Clifton’s eager defence.

Nick Murphy lost possession as he tried to drive over the line then a promising attack down the right ended with an interception on the 22 from Jamie Stevens who raced clear for the eighth try.

There was to be no consolation try for Bournville with wing Will Aylen, who carried strongly throughout, having the ball dislodged from his grasp as he tried to dot down by the cornerflag from the final play of the match.

Bournville have one chance left to win away from home this season when they travel to Weston-Super-Mare to face Hornets on April 13.

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