Keynsham RFC 28 - 11 Cullompton RFC
Home supporters have been exposed to a series of really skilful and enjoyable games this season. This came to and end on Saturday when both teams failed to deliver the standard that is required. Whilst there was much to appreciate with verve and bravery on display there was very little else. Playing conditions, admittedly, took a turn for the worst with a strong blustery wind, incessant light rain throughout the first half, but neither side could string together any cohesive sustained periods of play. It reflected the league positions of the two sides, one 10th the other 13th and the match official on the day did not really help as his decisions were inconsistent at times.
The Keynsham scrum was dominant in the set pieces for the most part of the first have, but this diminished approaching half-time and the visitors then edged it a little; in the last 20 minutes this dominance returned however. The lineouts were a bit hit and miss but somehow seemed to work out on most occasions. It is hard to be specific where these were breaking down, was it wind factor, poor throwing, poor timing by jumpers/lifters or bad communication? Probably a combination, perm any from four!
There was also quite a bit of aimless, if one’s being harsh, or mis-directed, being kind, kicking from hand giving the visitors back three plenty of opportunity to run the ball back, which they frequently did to good effect.
Keynsham opened brightly but could find no way through a stalwart Cully defence and a long-range penalty by Sam Challenger missed narrowly. The visitors then went 6 points clear via 2 penalties from their winger, Luxton. After a series of drives the went wide quickly but right wing Cieran Chester was stopped short of the line. Then Challenger put the first K points on the board with a penalty. This was shortly before half time. In added time in this half, there was loose play from both sides until, eventually, Jack Weston getting the ball out wide and breaking a few tackles before feeding Joe Clements who crashed over in the corner. Challenger’s fine conversion bring the conclusion to the half at 10-6.
The second half saw the immediate introduction of Ben Angell for Phil Harvey at prop and Gaz Bradnock for Oli Sayer on the wing, Sam missed a penalty before Cullompton regained the lead following a couple of 5-metre lineouts, Charlie “the mole” Grant claiming the honour; conversion hit the upright. Sam slotted his next penalty to move Keynsham back into a slender 2-point lead. The impressive Matt Clifton was injured and replaced by Jack Cowan. Keynsham stretched away thereafter running up 15 points in the last 15 minutes. Firstly, Weston muscling his way over after a series of surges by the forwards, Challenger converting, a long-range penalty from the same player and an unconverted try by Weston again, this time from a push over scrum.
Final score 28-11. Consolation for the home supporters came with 4 league points won when the side hasn’t performed well. Good luck next week at Devonport Services boys.
Weston Hornets 45 Keynsham 19
There were ideal conditions at Weston on Saturday for Keynsham’s first competitive game of rugby on an artificial pitch and they started brightly stringing together a series of moves to put the home team under early pressure. This came to nought when they were penalised for crossing and the line was cleared. Unfortunately, that was to be the only sustained cohesion for the rest of the game as, hard though they tried, only short flashes occurred thereafter. Hornets struck with their first try after 7 minutes when wing forward Morrisey finished off a slick move following an overthrown K’s long lineout, Carter adding the conversion.
3 minutes later Adam Harrison shot through a gap close to a ruck and broke clear only for a good tackle and forward pass to stop Keynsham’s progress. Within a couple of minutes Hornets were a further 7 points up with a converted try from Carter, this following a protracted move with good interchange and swift transfers of the ball. It was Hornets ability to keep the ball moving with quick transfers which was to be the defining feature of the game and was the cause of Keynsham, most surprisingly given the defence shown thus far, to miss so many tackles (or perhaps it was the pitch?). Whatever the reason it was a problem as Hornets always made ground with ball in hand.
Keynsham bounced right back from this set back. Reuben Edwards made a break of 30 metres, the move carried on and Keynsham ended up with a lineout 7 metres out from which Jack Evans got the touchdown at the back of a driving maul. Sam Challengers conversion bringing the score to 14-7. But, oh dear Hornets rattled in two tries, one by No 8 Brake and a second by Carter, both converted by Carter to stretch it out to 28-7. A yellow card for a high tackle saw wing forward Morrissey have some time off giving Keynsham the chance to make up some ground on the scoreboard and they were successful pushover try from No 8 Joe Clements. The half ended with the score 28-12.
Joe Davies went down early in the second half, played on but retired shortly thereafter causing a reshuffle in the backline, Ollie Conybeare moving from 15 to 10, Ciaran Chester on at wing and Gaz Bradnock to full back. Within the first 5 minutes any hopes of a major Keynsham revival were lost with a fifth converted try, the scorer this time Bailey at centre, Carter again adding the extras. If that wasn’t bad enough, Hornets skipper Dempsey from the other centre position, caught K’s kick-off and made a good 30 metres but Keynsham scrambled back to save the situation. Jack Cowan made his first team debut in the second row, Edwards moving to blind side and Matt Withey given a breather.
One of the short spells of cohesion mentioned before saw Keynsham scoring their third try through Matt Clifford, Challengers conversion making it 35-19. Another exhibition of speedy ball transfer by the home side gave their right winger, Gadd the 6th try, not converted. It was Cody Rensburg’s opportunity then to make debut for KRFC, Ryan Harding making way. Brake put the icing on Hornets cake with another unconverted try before Keynsham had another short spell of continuous possession and pushed very hard for a consolation try which would have given them a try bonus, but the home defence held out.
Final score, a disappointing 45-19. Keynsham were second best in this game with only the set piece scrum being utterly dominant throughout – nowhere near good enough all-round performance in this league. Let’s hope for better things when Cullompton come a’calling next week.
Keynsham 22 – 29 Bridgwater & Albion
Teignmouth RFC 33 – Keynsham RFC 36
Teignmouth`s committee and spectators gave their visitors a warm and friendly welcome on Saturday and were treated to a wonderfully exciting game where the lead changed hands on 4 occasions. Played in perfect, almost balmy conditions the players on both sides put their all into it and the game carried on throughout at a great pace. In truth, it was strange one, in that both sides seem to take it in turn to dominate for 15 minutes a time.
There was a serious collision after just 2 minutes when Keynsham`s Lewis Shrub and the home side`s John Hiscock took accidental heavy blows, both were able to carry on, but retired from the fray shortly thereafter (Hiscock returned later in the second half). After 6 mins, Teign took the lead from a penalty by Tom Gosling. Both sides were guilty of losing possession in the tackles, such was this fearsome defences, but the home side went further ahead from a try by Josh Davey following a speculative kick ahead, Gosling converting for a 10-0 lead.
Bouncing straight back, Keynsham were held up on the line following a strong burst by skipper Jack Weston. A series of 5 metre-scrums, several mauls and eventually a chip through gave Gaz Breakneck, on the wing, the opportunity to touch down for Keynsham`s first points, Challenger just wide with the conversion from wide out; 10-5. More Keynsham power play saw Caleb Flannell make inroads into the defence; he fed Rugbin Edwards who completed the last 10 metres for a classy try, Challenger slotted the conversion. Keynsham edging ahead 10-12.
Keynsham lost another opportunity to score when a potential overlap seemed to be there, only for the last pass to go astray. Nevertheless, they went further ahead when Dan Moodie converted a half break by Snooker Legend Joe Davies to cross the white wash, Challenger again adding the points to make it 10-19. Not to be out-done, back came Teign and despite some great defence, particularly a scything tack by Davies, Josh Davey scored his second try in the corner; Gosling missed the conversion from wide to leave the score at 15-19 to complete the half.
Within 5 minutes of the re-start there were two further scores on the board, a penalty apiece for Gosling and Challenger. Cieran Chester swapped for Adam Harrison, Steptoe taking over a t Scrum-half. 15 minutes in a cross-kick was picked up by that man, Davey, who beat the cover defence to notch his and Teign`s 3rdtry; Goose converting to take the score-line to 25-22. Kieran Seagar took over from Filo Harvey at prop.
Joe Clements was yellow carded shortly thereafter and within 6 minutes the home team had their 4th (and bonus point) try which came from a series of surges close to the line, Dayne Layton claiming the honours. Conversion missed, 30-22. With just 15 minutes left it seemed unlikely that Keynsham would pull back the deficit, but they stepped up several gears and dominated the game from hereon. After several phases, an inside pass from Davies saw Jack Weston almost amble in under the posts for Keynsham`s bonus point try closed that gap to just 1 point. Having said that Keynsham had raised their game by several gears, Teign`s defence did likewise and there were some awesome impacts. Victory for the visitors was sealed a couple of minutes from the end when Evans squeeze through the centre of a maul made a bit of ground and passed to the supporting Clements, who made his way joyfully to the line for try no 5; challengers kick bringing the score to 30-36.
The lads should be happy with 5 very hard won, valuable, away league points against such tough opponents.
One strange point is that the referee and his advisor made the score 33-36, but nobody seems to work out how! It is irrelevant, but very interesting! “Swear Not” tell anyone!
Keynsham RFC 17 – St Ives RFC 0
The visitors were delayed on their long journey from deepest Cornwall and had only a short time to prepare themselves for the game. Nevertheless, they came out with all guns firing from the whistle and put Keynsham under pressure in the early exchanges. Following a break by Dan Moody in the centre when Joe Davis created a bit of space, Sam Challenger was on hand to take the pass but was hauled down some 15 meters short. This gave the home side a foothold and after a couple of 5 metre scrums hooker Jack Evans poached another try which Challenger duly converted for a 7-point lead.
5 minutes later the ever-lively Evans burst through the middle of a ruck/maul to scuttle fully 20 yards scattering defenders, the equally impressive Matt Clifton was on hand to take the pass, beat a couple of defenders to feed supporting scrum half Adam Harrison, a promising new-comer to the squad, who dotted down; Challenger again converting for a 14-0 lead.
The majority of the remaining 20 minutes of the half were dominated by Keynsham but they were denied any further scores by a combination of stout defensive work and falling foul of the slippery ball from the incessant heavy drizzle which fell throughout the game.
Early in the second half St Ives had a shot at goal but the attempt was well wide and they still awaited their first points. After 5 minutes Challenger converted a penalty to add salt into the visitors wound; 17-0. Both sides were still trying to play open flowing rugby throughout but their efforts were thwarted time and time again by the greasy ball and plenty of scrums ensued. Generally, the home side`s pack had the edge but it was slightly less so in the second session. The home team`s rolling mauls were also impressive, one of which in particular when almost 30 metres.
St Ives` hard running back line were constantly being stopped in their tracks by really aggressive tackling by Keynsham`s backs and their pack was also quite mobile so it should be an interesting match when we visit them in January.
Thank you to Evans Building who were Saturdays match day sponsor.
Keynsham 36 - 33 Exeter University
What a difference a week makes! After a dire game previously when winning against Clevedon, this was a cracker. Playing the league leaders who had given Keynsham a rugby lesson in the reverse fixture at Exeter, the lads knew they had to give it their all and duly obliged.
A bright start with both teams playing with speed and cohesion set the tone. Exeter struck first with a try following a penalty kick to touch and the subsequent driving maul after 6 minutes, the conversion making it 0-7. Two minutes later Keynsham equalised with a try from second rower Matt Clifton and Sam Challenger’s conversion. 16 minutes gone and the visitors made it 7-14 with a replica of their first try; again, Keynsham responded and were eventually rewarded with a successful penalty from 35 metres out by Challenger. A fine move by the fluid students brought a further try as their right winger went over unopposed, the conversion missed so it was then 10-19. Two minutes before half-time saw Keynsham’s Clifton score his, and the teams’, second. Challenger’s conversion closing the gap to 2 points. From the kick-off Keynsham yielded a silly off-side penalty. The resultant kick to touch and line-out brought about try number 4 for the visitors, yet another carbon copy of tries 1 and 2; half time score 17-26.
Stand-off Joe Davis retired at half time with a dead leg and was replaced by Rob Breckon which enforced a subsequent reshuffle of the backline. Exeter extended their lead to 16 points when their right wing finished off a lovely move which had started deep inside their own half and their kicker added the icing. Keynsham seemed to change gear at this point and were beginning to stretch the students defence on a more regular basis. As the noise level from the crowd grew so their efforts became more and more. A sweet try by Bob Beacon closed the gap to 11 points and belief increased.
More pressure in the visitors’ red zone led to hooker Tom Loser scoring beside the posts giving Sam an easy job to add the extra points. The gap now just 4 points and looking at the possibility of at least 1, if not 2 bonus points, the pressure was rising still further as was the noise level. Just before the 30-minute mark a fourth Keynsham try was greeted with near hysteria – Jack Evans this time receiving the accolades – the conversion nudging Keynsham into a 3-point lead. The students then threw the kitchen sink at Keynsham, determined to regain the lead; truly brave and magnificent defending by all 15 players on the field denied them and as the home side were awarded a penalty for not releasing in injury time a famous victory ensued.
All set to go now for the Bath Combination Cup final on Wednesday – good luck. Thank you to Subway Keynsham who sponsored the match, we hope you enjoyed the day. Well done to Tom Lewis who was voted the Subway Man of the Match.
Clevedon 10 - 20 Keynsham
Firstly, great thanks to Clevedon for making the effort in getting this rearranged fixture played as they transferred the match to the nearby school 2nd team pitch, thus avoiding a log jam of games to be squeezed in before the end of the season.
Thereafter, it was a disappointing afternoon as both sides struggled to make any headway on a small, sloping and heavy ground; truly a game between a side already relegated and one struggling to stay up. 25 minutes in, the home side went ahead 5 nil through an unconverted try following a rolling maul. 10 minutes later Keynsham edged ahead 7-5 with a similar score claimed by Jack Evans (erroneously?), Sam Challenger adding the conversion. A fine break by winger Liam Murray lead to a try, subsequently disallowed as it was ruled that he had gone into touch before the last pass. But, just on half time Keynsham went 12-5 ahead from a try by Jack Weston – we think!
The second half had just begun when Challenger kicked a penalty to put the lads a further 3 points ahead and, before the 10-minute mark this lead was extended to 15 points when Toby Williams dotted down. Try as they might, they were unable to score what would have been a bonus point try and it was the home side who completed the scoring on the final whistle with another unconverted try.
An unsatisfying closed at 10-20 and 4 league points. The effort and energy put in by the Keynsham squad was impressive but the skills were of an individual basis and there was a lack of tactical nous.
Keynsham 19 - 32 Cullompton RFC
After an even opening 5 minutes Keynsham moved into the visitors 22 and were exerting some pressure when they gave away their first penalty – for not releasing when Cullompton were first to the tackle zone. On 13 minutes Keynsham put together umpteen phases from deep inside their own half and Matt Clifton went over for the first try of the game, this was converted by Sam Challenger to make the score 7-0. There was an immediate response from Cully levelling the scores through a try by their skipper and no 8 Sean Mardell, converted by centre Adam Pearce.
Within a couple of minutes Keynsham were ahead 14-7 following a steal from a maul by Jack Evans, a snipe by scrum half John Pearce who off-loaded to the supporting Clifford who notched up try no 2; Sam converted. The lead was to last but 7 minutes as Cullompton exploited gaps in K’s back-line defence to bag another fine try scored by wing-forward George Woofenden, with Pearce again adding the extra 2 points.
On the half hour, the visitors went ahead with an unconverted try by winger Jack Stoddard. A strange score to some degree as a grubber to the touch line hit the corner flag but stayed in play, in goal. A promising Keynsham attack shortly thereafter was halted by a knock on - a penalty opportunity was to follow and Sam’s shot was successful. 35 minutes gone and there was a long delay following an injury to the home side’s scrum-half John Pearce, who had to stay down until an ambulance arrived some time later. The game transferred to the adjacent pitch for the duration with Keynsham shuffling their resources in the back line; Liam Murray entering the fray on the wing.
Despite the best of efforts from both teams there were no more scores in the rest of the half. So, the first half was fairly even with the visitors just edging the scoring 17-19.
Cully made it abundantly clear that they were playing for keeps and quickly ran in their 4th and bonus point try just 2 minutes into the second half. This was a well-conceived and well taken try by full back Ross Toms, Pearce’s conversion making it 17-26. Keynsham had an opportunity after 10 minutes as a penalty kick to touch gave them a line-out close to the line but Cully turned it over. Ryan Harding and Tom Lewis took over from Phil Harvey and Sam Williams at this point.
14 minutes gone and the visitors made it 17-29 with a penalty by Pearce. Keynsham the lost another opportunity near the line due to ill-discipline (frustration with their performance taking over?). Cullompton scored what was to be the last points of the game on 30 minutes by dint of a penalty by Toms, who was later short with a long-range attempt. Keynsham’s spirit was not lacking, but generally not a good day for players and spectators alike; on the plus side John Pearce did get back from hospital in time for a libation or two.
Our thanks to the Cullompton physio who took on the role for both teams in the second half, as Will was looking after Pearcy.
Drybrook 29 - 8 Keynsham RFC
Keynsham ventured into the Forest of Dean to play high the flying Drybrook. With the ground in good condition, albeit slightly damp on the top layer, and good conditions the stage was set for an enjoyable game to ensue. The players on both sides did not disappoint, with plenty of skill, speed and effort on display.
The home side went ahead in the eighth minute with a try from Mitch Hale converted by Tom Treherne, to witch Keynsham replied by prop Phil Harvey; this came from a series of phases following a penalty which lead to a line-out 7 metres out. The conversion narrowly missed so the score stayed at 7-5. Keynsham were in defence mode when hooker Tom Lewis broke clear and dashed 40 + metres before being stopped. Keynsham then had a penalty shot to nudge then into the lead and Sam Challenger duly did the business; 7-8.
After Keynsham were marched back 10 following a penalty award Treherne took the opportunity to put Drybrook back in front 10-8. Further indiscipline cost Keynsham two players whilst they were under pressure near their own line and the home side duly took their chance almost immediately and touched down for their second try, Danny Price going over almost unopposed: Treherne’s 2 points made it 17-8. A loose kick from defence (not the only time this was to occur!) gave Drybrook the chance to run the ball back and winger Mitch Baldwin made fully 60 metres before being pulled down. Further pressure on the visitors’ line followed but stout and resolute defence forced a relieving penalty and brought the half to a close.
Keynsham, back to full strength shortly after the re-start were under significant pressure for the opening 10 minutes but the strength of the pack and overall defensive organisation prevented Drybrook from going further ahead. This storm weathered, it was Keynsham’s turn to attempt to turn the screw; they created a few of scoring chance but they came to nowt, this time Drybrook’s defence showing what they could do. After 27 minutes, Challenger had a shot at goal to try to reduce the deficit to more manageable 6 points but his kick sailed wide of the mark.
To add to this disappointment, 3 minutes later Drybrook got their third try, Mitch Baldwin crossing near the line and making it to under the posts for an easy conversion by Treherne – 24-8. Keynsham again caused some discomfort to the home defence but again could not make it count on the score board, over excitement or tiredness prevailed. Deep into over-time Keynsham should have cleared to touch but bravely, or foolishly, depending on one’s view, decided to run it back. This gave Drybrook their last chance at a 4th, and bonus point try: 7 phases then followed within the Keynsham 5 metre mark, culminating in a try by No 8 Matt Renton. We won’t talk about the conversion attempt! Final score 29-8.
The score did not tell the whole picture of the game and afterwards Drybrook’s players, officials and players were all very complementary about the performance of the whole squad, the pack being singled out en-bloc. If the team can put together another couple of performances like this then or spot in this league will be assured; if they don’t it could be squeaky bum time towards the end of the season – it’s up to you, guys!
Keynsham 32 - 25 Teignmouth
Playing against a stiff breeze it was the visitors who had the first chance to get on the score sheet but a penalty from right wing Jack Mayne was wide of the mark and after 19 minutes it was Keynsham who took the lead. It came from a blind-side break by John Pearce, and, from the ensuing ruck, Jack Weston fed the scrum half who slipped it to winger Kit Timmis for him to dive over in the corner; Sam Challenger converted for 7-0. Keynsham’s pack was under pressure in the scrums and a penalty led to a 15-metre lineout. The resulting catch and drive was halted but only at the expense of another penalty from which the catch/drive was successful, skipper/hooker Pete Parsons securing the try, but the conversion missed, 7-5.
Keynsham pressed again but an attacking lineout which went awry lost them an opportunity to add to their score. Nevertheless, they were soon 10-5 ahead when Challenger slotted a penalty.
Teignmouth’s reply was instant. From a retreating scrum swift hands and good running lines gave winger Will Sowden the opening he was looking for and he beat several tackles in his 30-metre run to the line; again, to K’s relief the conversion didn’t count. And so, at half time the scores were equal at 10 a piece but the honours had to go to the visitors who had more possession and made less mistakes.
Early in the second half Keynsham took a shot at goal from a penalty some 35 metres out but, against the wind Challengers kick was short. Two raking clearance kicks from this saw Teignmouth deep in their own 22 but the home side struck against the head and the danger was cleared. 7 mins in, saw Weston yellow carded for obstructing a clearance from a maul and 3 minutes later the visitors went into a 10-15 lead with an unconverted try by scrum half Kyran Rendle; further pressure on the home line was relieved when the defence forced Teignmouth to give away a penalty. Keynsham shuffled the pack with Jack Evans going in as hooker and Lewis Bush taking his place in the back row. 18 minutes into the second half Keynsham were deemed to have offended as the visitors were attempting to shove over at a 5-metre scrum; Sam Challenger, switched to scrum half, was sin-binned for diving on the ball on the line he thought, the ref thought otherwise, and a penalty try was the outcome – 10-22. Keynsham took a quick tap penalty, made ground and from the ensuing ruck, Pearce spotted a gap and shot through, and was then able to beat two despairing tackle attempts to dot down for try no 3 – the kick adding 2 points for Joe Davis. 17-22 and game on?
With about 10 minutes to go Mayne kick a penalty goal to stretch the lead back to 8 points but Challenger immediately replied with a penalty of his own. 7 minutes to go.
Suddenly, out of the blue, Keynsham went ballistic! 2 tries were to follow, almost identical in format. Keynsham got hold of the ball just outside their 22 and innumerable, phases later, were squatting on the Teignmouth line. This came about from the pack, mixing power play with off-loading and line running angles, and retaining control of the ball with the occasional minor input from the pretty-boys at the back.
Matt Clifton the fourth try and with Challengers kick hitting the upright the scores were tied 25-25. From the re-start those scenes were repeated almost exactly the one difference being that it was replacement prop and Subway kid Ryan Harding who touched down. The conversion by Challenger brought the game to and end 32-25.
5 league points hard won, commiserations to the visitors who, not for the first time this season apparently, lost in the last minute; they contributed in full to a very enjoyable game and deserved the 2 points they took back to Devon. Thank you.
Thank you to Godzown Sports for sponsoring the game and well done to Callum Fennell who received the Subway Man of the Match award.