Bideford Chiefs 23 - 7 Keynsham
A nervous opening 10 mins stretched to 15 then 20 with neither side capable of stringing together any sustained cohesive passages of play, due to their inability to hold on to passes (this “dropsy” was to continue throughout the game, leading to a stop/start afternoon where the ref’s whistle was in danger of running out of pea!).
When Keynsham were marched back 10 metres due to an inappropriate remark made to the ref following a penalty award, full back Chris Snell put the home side 32 points up. At 30 minutes skipper Jack Weston was sin-binned for a deliberate knock on and the rest of the team did well to knuckle down and defend like trojans denying Bideford any opportunity to further advance their lead.
The second half saw the introduction of Rob Breckon and Matt Coghlan for Kit Timmis and Phil Harvey together with the return of Weston. Jack’s return was short lived as in the first minute he damaged his ankle; he tried to carry on but was substituted, replaced by Tom Lewis. The reserve hooker slotted in at blind side wing forward, Caleb Flannel moving to No 8. A scrum infringement penalty converted by Snell followed putting the Chiefs 6 points clear. A pin point cross kick from No 10 Sean East enabled winger Pete Bowes to score, converted by Snell and the score was 13-0.
A break by stand-off Joe Davis made inroads for the visitors but his pass to the supporting Tom Lewis was dropped. Keynsham then had a penalty shot which was just wide from Sam Challenger. Keynsham were putting some fluency into their play at this stage but were further disrupted by an injury to Brad Newton, replaced at wing forward by winger Timmis; nevertheless, they got what was to be their only try after a break by Davis and Lewis was again there supporting and this time held on to the pass to tear over from 15 metres. Challenger’s conversion bringing the score to 13-7. Bideford replied immediately with a drop goal from East following a turnover, 16-7.
Ben Angell and Rueben Edwards were the next on the injured list and were replaced by Harvey and a one-legged Weston. The pack changes proved significant as what had been the slightly better eight at set pieces in the first half were decidedly out played in the second. A 12-man maul from a 5-metre line out was repelled by the visitors but the scrum was under great pressure and conceded a penalty try (23-7). There then came the highlight of Keynsham’s day; what appeared to be the only one on the field who knew that penalty tries no longer had to be converted, Gaz Bradnock, grabbed the ball, sprinted to the hallway line and drop-kicked deep into The Bideford half. Great stuff, but rotten kick! Too long by a few feet his reward was just a 22 re-start and unfortunately within seconds the same player was responsible for an Eeyore moment, “fresh airing” a kick and tripping up. Hey Ho. The game finished 23-7 and no league points for Keynsham.
Both sets of supporters agreed that their respective teams could have played better but Bideford’s hospitality was of the highest quality – thank you.
Keynsham 38 North Petherton 17
North Petherton were unfortunate to come across Keynsham on a day that they played towards the top end of their abilities at the Crown Field. The home side started quickly and had the majority of possession for the first 15 minutes or so. They put together quick moving attacks and were only repelled by dint of a well structured and determined defence. Then a quick tap penalty taken by Kris Borthwick took them by surprize and the centre touched down for a try near the posts, Sammy Challenger adding the extra points. They continued to exert pressure after the re-start and after several phases of pick-and-goes from the pack, Challenger added a second try and conversion to go 14-nil up. Yet again Keynsham swung into action from the re-start; a break and kick and chase by winger Rob Breckon was just too long but put the black and ambers within range. A glorious try by scrum-half John Pearce fo0llowed a lovely piece of interchange and off-loading; Sammy again adding the conversion for a 21 point lead.
If Keynsham and their supporters were rubbing their hands in expectation the visitors soon wiped that away, scoring two tries in the space of 5 minutes. The first was a fine team effort that was finished off in some style be No8 Arron Gibbs, the second an individual effort coming from a wonderful line of running, by centre John Gallagher from 35 metres. The latter converted by Adam Wright to pull the score-line back to a challenging 21-12. The half ended with Keynsham on the attack but an unchanged score.
2 minutes into the second half, Gaz Bradnock got some space and made a break of 20 metres before being hauled down; first to the breakdown was wing forward Brad Newton who picked up and ran straight through several would-be tacklers and despite being caught on the line managed to stretch over for a touch-down, Challenger missing the conversion, try bonus point bagged. North Petherton bounced back and were camped on the Keynsham try-line but lost the ball and Keynsham moved away from danger. 12 minutes in after quite a few forward surges, the ball was spread wide, Jack Weston popped up in the outside centre slot and fed winger Gaz Bradnock who shrugged off three tackles to add the fifth try which was added to by Challenger.
Sammy retired from the fray at this stage and Kit Timmis came on at wing, Bradnock reverting to full-back. Kris Borthwick then stole an intercept try from 50 metres beating 1 tackle en route, Joe Davis narrowly missing the conversion from wide out. 38-12 now and game secure. Callum Fennell took over at wing forward for Brad Newton at this stage, and Darren Uren was to relieve Phil Harvey at prop shortly thereafter. North Petherton never chucked the towel in and were soon again pressing the line only to lose another turnover at a critical stage. With 10 minutes to go Keynsham were down to 14 as second rower Matt Clifton was yellow carded, Oakley Goodland, having put in a sterling shift was given a break and replaced by Brad Newton as Keynsham prepared for a North Petherton onslaught.
The last 10 minutes all played out within the home 22, but the defence held firm; a wonderful last-ditch tackle from John Pearce denying Gibbs a second try. The pressure told however, and Keynsham were reduced to 13 with a yellow for Newton and eventually at the final whistle North Petherton got their reward with a final try, scored by winger Michael Stevens, the conversion was missed and the final score was 38-17.
Both teams contributed to a very enjoyable game and it was good to see the new centre partnership of Borthwick and Ciaran Chester working well. Next week we must try to fell the mighty Oaks!
Keynsham RFC 16 – 7 Matson RFC
A game to forget: a win to savour!
An attritional game at the Crown Field, sparsely attended (Christmas shopping?) saw KRFC edge past Matson. Playing like blocked drains the local lads still managed to add 4 points to their season’s tally and deny the visitors a losing bonus, which they would have deserved.
10 minutes in Keynsham were awarded a 5-metre penalty; a quick tap and feed from scrum-half Pearce to skipper Weston to barge over for the first points (5-0). Several promising Keynsham moves were spoilt by wayward/panic passing – a trend that was to continue throughout the game. On the half-hour, prop Harvey retired from the fray, replaced by Matt Coghlan. A further attacking opportunity within the visitors’ 5 metre-line was nullified by the concession of a penalty. At half time Matson edged in front with a well taken try ( abetted by a couple of missed tackles) by centre Keating, converted by scrum half, Boughton.
Thus, the first half concluded, Matson having had the majority of territorial advantage. The highlights from a Keynsham view-point were the 4 steals Brad Newton had in the line-outs and a 30-metre burst from second row Edwards. Keynsham were guilty of trying to play over-expansive rugby and their choice of options – run/kick short/ kick long/ keep possession - were almost catastrophic.
Following the first action of the second half, Jack Evans replaced Calum Fennell at wing forward. After 8 minutes Keynsham pit together 8/10 phases to pressurise the Matson line, but again conceded a penalty to relieve the situation. 10 minutes thereafter Challenger slotted another penalty to nudge Keynsham into the narrowest of leads, 8-7. On 25 minutes a double substitution saw Fennell return for Tom Lewis (Evans shifting to hooker) and Rob Breckon for Joe Davis (Gaz Bradnock switching to full-back). 5 minutes from time Keynsham notched their second try. It followed a catch and drive from a line-out on the 5-metre mark, with Evans claiming the score (13-7). Matson’s hope of a bonus losing point were dashed by a last minute penalty from Challenger.
Have a good Christmas break fellas.
Keynsham 24 – 19 Thornbury
Keynsham got back to winnings ways, but by the skin of their teeth, when Thornbury visited the Crown Field on Saturday. The first 5 minutes showed the crowd that both sides were determined to play expansive attractive rugby and the early exchanges were very even. After 15 minutes, following 8/10 phases moving left and right across the field Keynsham went ahead through a well taken try by scrum-half John Pearce. The conversion by Sam Challenger made it 7 nil.
Within minutes the scores were equal as Thornbury scored a fine try by winger Rich Bennet, converted by full back Jack Wood. Keynsham went back into the lead when they picked off a dropped ball by the visitors and 2 moves later, Joe Davis gave a smart pass to prop Ben Angell who needed no encouragement to surge the few metres to the try line, Sam Challenger again adding a good conversion, 14-7. Bang! More or less from the re-start Keynsham tried to run the ball out of their 22 only for a telegraphed pass to lead to an interception try under the posts for Thornbury’s stand-off Sam Poustie, Wood added the conversion to make it all square again.
Sam Challenger narrowly missed a mid-range penalty at 30 minutes and only a great cover tackle by the visitors’ defence prevented centre Kris Borthwick from scoring in the corner; this following a break away by winger Kit Timmis. Skipper Jack Weston was held up on the line and, after a couple of 5 metre scums, Weston fed Pearce who then shipped the ball onto Timmis to notch the team’s third try. Conversion missed. Thornbury then had a chance but messed up a line-out and so an exciting half came to an end with the Black and Ambers shaving it 19-14.
As good as the first half was, the second half failed to come close, the game reflecting the gloomy conditions. Whether the players had the same difficulties as the spectators in telling the sides apart, this 40 minutes was riddled with mistakes frim both teams, and frustrations were apparent. Thornbury equalised again from a catch and drive, centre Harry Tarling adding his frame to the maul and stealing the glory from his pack, the conversion from wide out was missed – 19 all. 26 minutes in and Keynsham scored their fourth, and bonus point, try by Jack Evans; this coming from a succession of drives following a line out 15 metres from the line.
There was a lot of grunt from both sides thereafter but nothing of note and we were all glad to hear the final whistle. Definitely a game of two halves, but a win’s a win.
Exeter University 50 - 12 Keynsham
The Keynsham team coached it down to Exeter for a “girls’ night out” on Saturday. Their attention must have been left in the make-up room as the game started because they failed to touch the ball, apart from kick-offs, for the first 10 minutes during which the students ran in three well worked tries, two converted from wide-out to put the score at 19-nil. Keynsham then had a period of ball retention and made slow but sure progress towards the Exeter line but were shattered by an intercept try, putting the home side a further 7 points ahead at 26-0 after just 15 minutes. A fifth try was added when following good back up support play their centre dotted down and another conversion from near the touchline was converted – 33pts to nil.
Keynsham then exerted some pressure on the students’ line bringing about a yellow card for the home side and, following the penalty kick into the corner, a catch- and -drive from the lineout saw prop Ben Angell surge over. Sam Challengers kick just went wide and the half ended at 33-5.
The second half saw the introduction of Gareth Jones for Sam Williams in the second row. From a scrum which was retreating at some speed the students manufactured another fine try from near the half way line just 6 minutes into the half by their right wing, conversion missed: 38-5. Matt Coghlan and Rob Breckon entered the fray for Tim Coghlan and Joe Davis at this point. Keynsham were still striving tooth and nail to match the home side but shipped a further try when their centre crashed over from close range near the posts; conversion good, 45-5. Another flowing move saw the left winger dot down to complete the home teams score at 50-5.
It is safe to say that Keynsham, for the first time this season, were out-played in all phases of the game by a better side, but did match them in two important facets; the effort and determination shown throughout the side was truly commendable, at no stage did heads drop and the desire to play good rugby was there for all to see. The humour has not gone out of the game either despite the competitiveness of league rugby. As Jack Weston touched down for a further consolation try as the clock was in the metaphorical “red zone” he was hear to cry out “last try wins the game ref?” A joy to behold, well tried boys.
So…. It was back to the make-up room, on with the dresses and off to the Students’ Union bar for a well-earned drink – all of the squad deserved one.
Keynsham 10 - 13 Drybrook
The Tribute South West 1 League has developed a pattern in the last few weeks of recording close-fought encounters across the board in all matches and this trend continued this week-end the game between Keynsham and second placed Drybrook RFC being no exception. A goodly crowd enjoyed an open attractive game where, yet again defences dominated.
The visitors dominated both possession and territory in the opening ten minutes before Keynsham got a foothold in the Drybrook half. Several attacks were snuffed out and a few more squandered through lost line outs and a ball squirting out of a scrum awkwardly. Drybrook then turn the screw and put concerted pressure on the Keynsham line, the defence held, but eventually the got their reward through a penalty by full back Tom Treherne on about 30 minutes. 0-3.
Keynsham attacked straight away and following a speculative kick and chase by winged Gaz Bradnock it was their turn to squeeze the visitors defence. A yellow card for their wing forward gave Keynsham the edge they needed and from a catch and drive hooker Tom Lewis burrowed over the line; Sam Challenger slotted the conversion for a 7-3 lead. In the closing stages Brad Newton stole two successive Drybrook lineouts to relieve the pressure just before half time; thus the score remained 7-3 with everything to play for.
The second half started as the first with the visitors in control for a long period until a break away saw Kit Timmins pin his ears back and make a 70 metre dash, caught above 15 metres short. A turnover forced by Ben Angel led to a penalty award with Sam Challenger kicking a fine goal to make it 10-3. Back swarmed Drybrook and the pressure told with the sin-binning of the afore mentioned Angell but somehow Keynsham hung onto their lead. At last Drybrook scored – a penalty from Freherne to make it even closer at 10-6. For the home team Kieran Chester replaced debutante Kris Borthwick, returning from long-term injury.
Keynsham were down to 13 men for a brief period following a yellow card for skipper Jack Weston but still the game ebbed and flowed; nip and tuck all the way. With barely 5 minutes to go Keynsham’s defence was breached for the first time by a well worked move aided by a rare missed tackle, and scrum-half/winger Mike Baldwin dotted down, Treherne adding the conversion for a final score of 10-13.
A tremendous effort by all the squad, more of the same please.
Cullumpton 24 - 11 Keynsham
What threatened to be a very rainy day, turned out to be pleasant after the warm up and players only had to compensate for a wet ball and slightly greasy underfoot conditions. Consequently, both sides were willing and to try to plat expansive rugby; as it transpired defences won the upper hand with Keynsham’s getting the main kudos.
The visitors went into an early lead with a penalty converted by Sam Challenger for a 0-3 lead. Cullumpton bounced straight back and for the next 15 minutes pressured the Keynsham defence which held firm without any major alarms. The Black and Ambers broke out of the shackles and had 5 or 6 minutes in the Cullumpton half, but they too saw off any threats to their line. More possession for the home side followed and they eventually got their reward 7 mins before half time, equalising the scores from a penalty by Adam Pearce.
So, the half ended 3-3; two very even matched sides putting a lot of effort in. Notably for the visitors Oakley Goodland won several turnovers and Reuben Edwards put in innumerable tackles. Cullumpton probably just edged the play due to possession and territory.
The start of the second half saw Ben Angell take over as prop from Matt Coghlan and seven minutes later Jack Weston was swapped on for Goodland. On 11 mins Sam Challenger put Keynsham back into the lead with his second penalty and Gareth Jones joined the fray in place of Edwards. 6 minutes later a rare missed tackle saw home skipper Sean Mardell make a severe breach in Keynsham’s defences; there were umpteen phases close to the line and eventually skipper Mardell squeezed over for the first try of the game; Pearce made it 10-6 with the conversion.
Shortly thereafter Cullumpton spilt a ball on the half way line which was seized upon by the ever-lively Brad Newton, he fed Weston who linked twice with Gareth Bradnock, who fed the supporting wing, Rob Breckon. Breckon then just beat the cover defence to dive in for try near the corner- not converted- 10-11. Further forwards pressure on the Keynsham line saw John Snell the home sides’ prop force his way over the line for their second try, converted by Pearce to regain the lead 17-11. There followed another visitors’ substitution Edwards replacing Newton at wing forward, but this change was only to last 4 minutes before Edwards was forced to retire injured (again!), Newton returning.
We were hoping to come away with a losing bonus point at least but conceded a penalty 30 metres out and just right of the posts. Inexplicably the Cullumpton kicker spooned the kick and it fell well short, however the ball was lost and another series of close range drives saw hooker Chris grant dot down for the 3rd try; conversion kicked by Pearce to make the final score 24-11, not a true reflection of the game over all. So it ended on a slightly bizarre note, although Adam Pearce did try to claim that the lofted penalty was a planned move.
Bridgwater & Albion 31 - 14 Keynsham
The home side’s second row Arron Kelly was prominent in the early stages with some strong carries and Keynsham repelled several promising attacks. A break by centre Luke Plummer again threatened Keynsham’s line but the final pass did not go to hand. Keynsham’s Dan Moody retired with a shoulder injury after about 25 minutes and was replaced by Josh Hughes, Gareth Bradnock moving to wing and Rob Breckon switching to full back. On an excursion into the home side’s half Breckon did a “Devon Loch” *(see below). On the half hour Paul Cooper was yellow carded inside the 22 giving Kelly the opportunity to bludgeon over from short range following a line out, Stuart Heal converted to give the home side a 7 point start.
They followed up more or less from the kick off with a kick and chase from winger Ryan Bartlett, the kick just going too far. Nevertheless, they continued to take advantage of the one-man advantage they enjoyed and went further ahead with an unconverted try by their most potent attacking threat namely full-back Will Munroe. The same man made a break shortly thereafter, fed winger Barnett for a third try, converted by Heal to make the score coming up to half time 19 nil.
A very protracted first half (55 minutes!) was brought to an end with a try for Brad Newton converted by Sam Challenger bring the score to 19-7. It was to be hoped that Keynsham would turn the game around in the second half as they would then have the advantage of the strong tail wind which benefitted BARFC in the first half.
Signs were good with early pressure but a wonderful try was conjured up by the home side. A counter attack saw them sweep both sides of the pitch and cover fully 75 metres end in a try for Kyran Devitt, duly converted by Heal; bonus point secure and a 26-7 lead. Oakley Goodland and Darren Uren joined the fray at this point, Jack Weston and Matt Coghlan retiring. John Pearce gave the Black and Ambers renewed hope sniping his way over the whitewash and again Challenger added the extra points. 26-14.
Bridgwater added a 5th try through Luke Plummer, Heal inexplicably missing a simple conversion to bring it to 31-14. Keynsham exerted significant pressure on the home defence in the closing 10 minutes but despite a yellow card offence followed by uncontested scrums were unable to close the gap any further.
So, back down to earth with a bump. Keynsham were not out classed but could not cope with the 8 changes from last weeks squad. They had the edge in the set pieces but the home team were far slicker with their ball handing from 1 – 15.
*” Devon Loch” was a race horse that famously fell over when about to become winner of the Grand National – talk to anyone over 65!
Keynsham 17 - 12 Bideford
In a match where a strong, blustery cross-field wind was to prove a distraction, scrum half John Pearce made an early sniping run which gained 30 metres which put Keynsham on the front foot in this mid-table clash. A missed penalty was followed by a successful one by centre Sam Challenger to give the home side a 3-0 lead. In a rare sortie into the Keynsham 22 Bideford took the lead from a try by captain and wing forward Dave Folland converted by Full back Snell to make it 3-7.
Keynsham came straight back and after several surges Gareth Bradnock spun several times and wriggled his way over the white-wash to score wide out; Challenger slotted a magnificent conversion to make it 10-7.
The game speeded up in the last 15 minutes of the first half with both sides off-loading well. A Jack Weston break out from defence looked promising but came to nowt. The first half ended with a double knock on which kind of mirrored both sides efforts in the opening 40 minutes.
Right from the opening play Keynsham went further ahead. Weston fed Pearce from a scrum, he made 10 metres or so, gave it back to Weston who surged through several would be tacklers making another 20 metres before giving it back to the supporting Pearce; he gratefully scuttled under the posts. Challenger added the points. 17-7. Hereafter Bideford changed their tactics and were to dominate the rest of proceedings; their pack kept the ball and exerted tremendous pressure, particularly in the set piece scrums. It was soon time for Bideford to score and they did so. From a 5-metre lineout there was a catch and drive culminating in a second try for skipper Folland. The conversion missed leaving it at 17-12.
More threats to Keynsham’s line were to follow and apart from a break out by Weston and Brad Newton which came to nothing following a rather pointless kick ahead, Keynsham were to spend most of the rest of the game inside their own 22. In fact, the last 10 minutes were all spend within 10 metres of the line. K’s defence was superb, repelling thrust after thrust, though it must be said that the Bideford tactics were a bit adrift spurning several offers of a 5 metre scrum for a tap-and-go.
Relief all around the Crown Field when substitute hooker Tom Lewis planted the ball into touch from a line out. A squeaky 4 league points in the bag.
Teignmouth 17 - 12 Keynsham
A goodly crowd of supporters made the trip to Devon to watch what was expected to be a close game in South West 1 league, and were not disappointed. The sides were extremely well matched and showed every willingness to play fast open rugby. Dominated by two teams whose defence was strong and aggressive, there were many errors made on both sides throughout. Forced, by dint of a combination of injury and non-availability, to field two players in the second row unused to that position Ryan Harding (normally a prop) and Oakley Goodland (normally no 8) both performed really well to ensure near parity at the set pieces, of which there were quite a few.
Both teams tested each other out in the early stages with play moving swiftly from 1 end to the other. At one stage Keynsham had a period of pressure inside the home 22 but failed to get on the scoreboard. An early change of personnel saw Teignmouth prop Callum Browse replace Ben Allison. From a penalty for holding on in a tackle, Teignmouth had a 5-metre lineout and from the ensuring action Jack Bowden touched down for the opening try; conversion missed 5-0. There was a free kick at the Keynsham kick-off and a tapped penalty saw the home side make 40 metres but Keynsham’s scrambling defence made the situation safe. Keynsham wing-forward Callum Fennel was yellow carded for what was deemed a dangerous tackle and shortly thereafter they spoilt a possible try when ever-threatening centre Will Sowden’s pass went into touch. Pressure from Keynsham near the end of the half saw Jack Weston, from a scrum near the line, flip the ball to Jon Pearce, who scooted over for a touchdown; Challengers conversion edging Keynsham ahead 5-7. Teignmouth probably just edged the 1st half due to territory and chances, so the stage was set for a close 2nd half.
The kick-off at the start of the 2nd half was not taken cleanly, but the situation was tidied up and Brad Newton burst away from defence with a 70 metre break stopped just short of the line ( a Weston style dive might just have made it!). The ensuing line out led eventually to a try by Jack Evans; conversion missed, 5-12. Straight away Keynsham were back on the attack, stout defensive work this time stopping George Warren from crossing. More pressure followed but no rewards were forthcoming. Tim Coughlan was replaced by his brother Matt at this stage. It was soon time for Teignmouth’s turn to exert pressure and Keynsham failed to take a golden opportunity to clear their line lead to a try by no 8 Alex Ford; conversion missed 10-12. From the re-start it was Teignmouth who failed to tidy up the kick and Keynsham were, yet again stopped on the line. Joe Davis was subbed for Rob Breckon with an arm injury. The home side were soon back in Keynsham’s 22 and following a series of lineouts and scrums centre Will Sowden shouldered his way through the defence to score near the posts; Mike Saxton converting 17-12. With 5 minutes to go, Jack Josham was introduced for Ryan Harding and there was a double substitution for Teignmouth. For the last 7 minutes the action was all within Teignmouth’s 10 metre line. Scrum after scrum, penalty after penalty, lineout after lineout yet still the home defence held. They lost scrumhalf Kyran Rendle to a yellow card but the last movement of the game saw Keynsham knock on in the centre whilst going wide.
Final result 17-12, giving Keynsham a losing bonus to take back only.
Possibly they deserved more than that but they will have to be more clinical and make better decisions at crucial times. Nevertheless a good game to watch, so thank you boys.