Bourns Just Fall Short To Students

Buoyed by back to back wins, Bournville made the trip to Loughborough with a spring in their step as they looked to further edge themselves away from the drop zone.

The game started at a slightly pedestrian pace with both sides probing each other with their respective kicking games. That changed after 10 minutes when a loose Bournville kick failed to find touch and the students countered with their usual zest. A few phases later and lock Archie Hunter crashed over under the posts leaving Alex Wainwright the simplest of conversions for a 7-0 lead.

Bournville’s response was instant, as from a 5 metre line out, the pack drove and multi phased before the ball was spun wide and Owen Williams found his brother Rhys with an inside pass, who in turn flicked a sumptuous offload to Sam Grimshaw to touchdown. Max Craven adding the extras from a difficult angle to level the scores before he increased the lead 5 minutes later with a penalty goal. It was all Bourns for the remainder of the half, but a mixture of the referees whistle and some sloppy handling meant only Sam Sheppard,s effort off the driving line out troubled the score board operators as Bournville went in to half time 17-7 up.

The students shot out of the blocks 2nd half with two quick fire tries to George Barber and Jonathon Mason with replacement fly half Tom Smith adding a conversion for a 19-17 lead. Bourns turned to their drive again and Loughborough alumni Jamie Harding came up with the ball versus his former side with Craven adding the extras. 24-19. The back and forth scoring continued with replacement back row James Tunney bulldozing through the visitors defence off a set piece move for a wonderful try with Smith again adding the extras before Josh Tusler picked a great line to further extend the hosts lead.

Bournville replied with a try that looked to have been practiced by the Williams boys for years in the back yard as older brother Rhys found younger brother Owen with a pin point cross field kick with Craven narrowly missing from the touchline to leave the margin 2 points in Loughborough’s favour. Tight head prop Oliver Crane then burrowed over from close range to re-establish the hosts 7 point lead before veteran lock Sam Herrington drove over himself from close range and Cravens simple conversion left the scores tied 36 all with 5 to go. Unfortunately it would be the man with the whistle who would have a major impact on the final moments. A penalty to the hosts when Owen Williams looked to have legitimately won a breakdown penalty gave Smith a chance to take a 3 points to which he duly obliged. Bournville then worked their way up field and were awarded a penalty with time up. Bourns kicked to touch and as the drive came to a stop, looked to have an opportunity for quick ball which was killed by the opposition. Crucially no card was shown and Bourns opted for the win & 5 league points rather then taking the 3 on offer which would have levelled the scores. A surge by replacement no 8 James Weaver was stopped short but Bourns lost possession on the next play for the ref to blow full time.

So a tight loss in what has been a tough place for opposition teams this season but 2 crucial points gained. Both sides will feel aggrieved by some dubious referring decisions in what was a pulsating contest. Bourns can now turn their attention to the West Mids derby v Stourbridge that will go a long way to determining the relegation picture in National 2 West this season.

1: Max Craven; With the students outscoring Bourns 6 tries to 5, it was Max kicking boots that looked to have secured the 2nd BP.
2; Sam Herrington; some wonderful line out work by the evergreen lock and his strong carrying was rewarded with a try that levelled scores going into the last 5.
3 and Star Man; Sam Sheppard; absolutely everywhere in defence and popped up with a try in the first half. On another day he would have been rewarded for some of his outstanding breakdown work.

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