Report by Billy Page

A first meeting for these two sides at any level as Bournville made their way down to Shaftsbury Park looking to upset one of the early form sides in National 2 West and what an encounter it was with 14 tries scored in total as Bournville’s attack was at times scintillating but Dings Crusaders experienced pack ruthless in their execution of their driving line out.

Bourns started well and created pressure with Jamie Harding charging down an attempted box kick. A quick recycle saw the ball fizzed wide and Mikey Ho dotted down in the corner. Mitch McGahan was narrowly wide with the conversion attempt. Dings responded as Bourns gave away a penalty in the middle of the park which Dings kicked to the corner and from the resulting drive No.8 Chris Rovery scored. The same trick was repeated 10 minutes later as a Bourns penalty led to another catch and drive and although Bourns did well to stop the initial shunt, the maul sheared off in field and Rovery had his 2nd with Oliver Millner adding the conversion for a 12-5 lead.

Bourns held field position and created some pressure with their attacking play and after a period off pressure, lock Kyle Williams crashed over in the corner to make the score 12-10. Bourns kept the pressure up and a bust from Jack Cantelo off a set play and a quick ruck, saw McGahan’s pass find Mikey Ho unmarked for his 2nd try of the day. McGahan struck the upright but Bourns led 15-12 after 30 minutes.

Dings went back to their strength and a couple of catch and drives later, Rovery had his hat trick and the conversion left the half time score in favour of the hosts 19-15.

Dings pounced first after the break as Bourns managed to stop their maul, however, that man Rovery caught them napping on the short side as he set up centre Marcus Brooker for a try in the corner. Bourns response was immediate after another string of quick phases saw replacement fly half Rhys Williams crash over for his first try in Bournville colours with Max Craven adding the extras for a 24-22 score line.

Both sides exchanged driving maul tries, Sam Slade for Dings and Jamie Harding for Bournville with the respective conversions added. Eparama Rokodrava then finished off a slick first phase move by Bournville’s backs as he left a number of defenders in his wake to leave the score at 34-31 with 15 to play. Another catch and drive from Dings saw replacement prop Tom Gollop score for Dings to re-establish a 3-point lead. Then the killer blow as Bourns for the first time all day were caught over playing in the middle of the park and the resulting lineout saw Dings unleash their backs and centre Matt Smith crashed over under the sticks to take the game away from Bourns. Not to be deterred, the Choco’s worked their way up the park and Ben Tibbetts snipped over in the corner after the drive came to a stop and Craven’s conversion saw a final score of 45-41.

Whilst not the win the boys were after, Bournville played with much more purpose and for the first time this league campaign their attack clicked. 2 points on the road to one of the early pace setters is no mean feat and if they can sort out their penalty count and have their attack on song, a win is just round the corner.

3,2,1 for the day

1- James Weaver; first full 80 at tight head for the club captain and he toiled hard in the tight and the loose all day
2- Max Craven; some lovely touches on attack and was unlucky not to have a perfect record off the tee when taking over the kicking duties.
3- Jack Cantelo; his powerful surges caused Dings troubles and enabled Bourns to get on the front foot and set some of their attacking play off on the right foot.

Through the viewfinder

So Bristol is not close to Exeter then? Anyone who knows me will understand.
Note to self – make a plan, consult a map, don’t wing it and use a sat nav.
I am somewhat delayed in posting, due to a short break in Devon with no access to a pc or wireless.

What a cracking game!

Always nice to listen to the home supporters discussing the game to come. Not cocky, but sure that the Ding machine would have no problems notching up an easy win. No talk at this stage of rested or missing players. What a surprise they had.

As always, I back Bournville and positioned myself in the half we were attacking. In the main, this paid dividends.

As I have been guilty of doing before, I unfortunately got too involved in the game and tended to watch rather than use the camera. With that excuse firmly planted for a poor product, please take a look HERE for a few snaps of the day.

After this display I am looking forward to Saturdays game. The 2.30pm kick off certainly makes a difference when it comes to better light for watching and taking clearer photos, so can we look at a 2pm start for the games deeper in the Winter time. Less of a need for those expensive floodlights.

Sully – Bournville’s always friendly (and free) photographer

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