Last-gasp penalty secures highest league finish for resilient Bourns

Bournville 28 Hinckley 27

Bournville completed their most successful season in the National Leagues with a bonus point victory at Avery Fields that was clinched by Rhys Williams’s late penalty.

The win – the tenth of the season – enabled Bournville to leapfrog Hornets and Chester into tenth place in the National Two West table with a haul of 62 points.

There was only one home defeat – narrowly to Redruth – in the second half of the season which reflected the growing resilience and progress made by the side.

Back in September Bournville were bullied by Hinckley’s big pack but there was no chance of a repeat here. James Burgoyne and Stef Thorp were again outstanding in the scrums, Ben Meakin and Chris Idehen carried superbly and Jake Bailey, back in action after six months out with a broken hand, produced an all-action display when he came off the bench.

Owen Williams and Sam Grimshaw proved constant menaces in attack and once the early problems in the lineout were sorted out, Bournville were able to raise the tempo of the match.

But they still left it late before snatching victory with Rhys Williams stroking over a long-range 79th minute penalty after Hinckley were penalised at a ruck as they tried to run the clock down.

There were still 90 seconds left after Williams found the target but Bournville secured the re-start and retained possession before Rhys Williams hoofed the ball into the car park at the final whistle.

“I am chuffed. To get 62 points and to finish tenth is brilliant,” said Head Coach Matt Price.

“Today we probably passed the test of winning ugly. We have learnt that as a group.

“Until about three months ago we would have lost the game quite easily. But to have the ability to take the ball to the line, look after it, get into their half, get a penalty, knock it over and then come back and regroup and exit appropriately is class. That’s top end rugby. You can’t do much more than that.

“I’m chuffed for the boys, for the group and for the club. This is the first part of what we are trying to build here in a positive environment.

“We want players to come and enjoy playing their rugby here and to play a brand of rugby that they enjoy and I think we are doing that.”

It took Bournville time to get into their stride and, after Jacob Fewtrell had landed an early penalty, Hinckley opened up a 21-8 lead with three converted first-half tries.

Bournville’s response was a try for Alex Evans from a sustained attack but it was Grimshaw’s interception from close to halfway late in the first-half that shifted momentum.

A six points deficit at the break was reduced to a point eight minutes into the second period when Meakin powered through but Hinckley edged away again with their captain Rory Vowles landing two penalties.

A try from Owen Williams nine minutes from time brought Bournville to within two points but Hinckley then made a costly error when they turned down a kickable penalty chance and instead went for the corner.

Superb defence halted the attack, Hinckley turned over possession and Bournville had the confidence and composure to work themselves into a position which won the late penalty from which Williams held his nerve.

The win capped a memorable day for Burgoyne and James Weaver who had the honour of leading out the side having become the latest players to make 100 first team appearances for the club.

“Burgs and Weaves are real cornerstone people of the club and I’m pleased for them that they were able to do that at home,” Price said.

“In terms of individual performances, Ben Meakin was outstanding with his carries and Chris Idehen also got through a lot of work.

“I could name the whole starting XV. But the whole bench came on and impacted. Ollie Stone came on when we needed someone to hit his lineouts and made a big impact.

“Jake Bailey has been out for six months but he came on, carried, hit people hard and got over the ball. I thought he had a good argument to be man of the match.

“I am really chuffed for the boys. We have now got to enjoy the 50-odd days off and then we go again.”

Through the Viewfinder

Lee Sullivan

What a great result. What a pity I missed it!

The rain came and for the first time ever I had a raindrop land on the glass of my lens. I went to my car to use my lens cleaner and whilst there I heard a large shout and what looked like handshakes between the teams. I thought I had missed the final stages and as I was frozen, I jumped in the car and drove home thinking we had lost by a point or two. Obviously I was chuffed to see the final result when we got home.

Many thanks to George Barra for clearly indicating that he thinks I am the Number 1 photographer.

Here are the photos – minus a few important ones that I missed.


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

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