Keynsham 29 - 17 Newent
Those of us who paid £3 had great value for money when we watched Keynsham take on Newent RFC at the Crown Field (those who didn’t pay – shame on you!). Having performed well in the previous two games with but a single point to their league tally the lads knew that a hard game was ahead.
Newent hit the ground running and their backline, fast, skilful and athletic, well backed by the back row, threatened to rip Keynsham to shreds. Some missed first time tackles added to Keynsham woes and within 10 minutes they led 12 points to nil through tries from full back Josh Preston and winger Nathan Brookes, the first of which converted by Preston. It was very evident at this point that if Keynsham didn't start to win the collisions Newent's off loading game would make sure it was a long afternoon for the men in amber and black.
Keynsham re-grouped and began to dominate up front, a domination which was to become increasing evident with penalties at all most every scrum. A series of 5 metre scrums saw the visitors’ wing forward, George Phelps, sin-binned without the award of a penalty try. From the last set piece a likely push-over try was stopped by the visitors pack but skipper, Jack Weston, flicked the ball from the base of the scrum to scrum half, John Pearce who dived over near the 5 metre line, Sam Challenger nailing the conversion from the touch line.
Keynsham failed to secure the re-start safely and what ensued was a frenetic period of play with both sides trying to keep the ball alive. The end of product was Keynsham working an overlap down the right hand side only for Tim Coghlan's pass to be intercepted by Newent's winger who ran in from 40 metres to secure their third try. Oh oh, we thought, but the boys bounced back and won a penalty, slotted by Challenger.
Half time 10-17-game on?
Progressively the front 5 were more and more in charge and it was no surprise when after another siege on the visitors’ line, Keynsham were awarded a penalty try, together with another yellow card, this time to No 8 Ross Webb. Newent then put some pressure on the Keynsham line, but an attacking 5 metre lineout was stolen by Brad Newton.
From the subsequent play, a cross field kick from Joe Davis saw a fumble from the Newent defence after a pressure from Weston and Newton and a favourable bounce saw skipper, Jack Weston gallop in from 30 metres. (It is hoped that his disgraceful Ashtonesque dive over the lined received its just deserts in the after-match fines session!). Challenger on target with the conversion.
Yet more pressure led to a final push-over try. Who cares who’s claiming it (Weston again)! Sam missing the conversion.
29-17 and 5 points; well done boys, great defence, scrummaging and line-out.
Thank you to City Plumbing Supplies who were Saturdays match day sponsor!