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.
Keynsham 19 - 23 Bridgwater & Albion
This was a huge improvement on these teams’ first meting earlier this season at Bridgwater. The game was played at pace throughout, both sides seeking every opportunity to attack, resulting in a game that swung from end to end repeatedly. The fact that it was a relatively low scoring match was in the main down to two very well-orchestrated defences but also due to over elaboration and over-enthusiasm from both sides.
Early pressure was exerted by the home side and many good forwards’ phases lead to an opening try scored by No8 Oakley Goodland, Sam Challengers conversion just dropping short from wide out. A charismatic 3 minutes by winger Bob Beacon was brought to a close through injury at the same time; he was replaced by Dan Moody, Ciaran Chester moving to the wing. BAR’s response was immediate when Keynsham were penalised for off-side and stand-off Stu Heal slotted the kick from 35 metres. This penalty was to be replicated time after time after time throughout the course of the game as the home side failed to meet the ref’s requirements and was to prove their downfall. Another penalty, taken quickly by Bridgewater ended with a try by their skipper, and man of the match, Ollie Dunn and the conversion from near the touch line by Heal made the score 5-10 after 14 minutes.
The visitors were soon on the attack again but an opportunist intercept by John Pearce saw the scrum-half scorch 70 metres to score by the post – Challenger adding the 2 points. Keynsham were back on the attack soon after and a catch and drive was halted near the line but from the ruck a good line from Moody and an inside pass from Kris Borthwick saw the replacement nip over for a try, Sammy again slotting the kick; so. It was 19-13 after about 25 minutes. Could Keynsham have scored again the final result may have been different but despite losing a second row 8 minutes from half time the visitors held on and even had a chance to claw back three points but Heal’s penalty missed; and so it remained 19-13.
7 minutes into the second half Bridgwater, now back to full numerical strength, narrowed the gap from a Heal penalty to just 3 points. Goodland and Phil Harvey were given a rest, replaced by Lewis Bush and Tim Coghlan at this point. An opportunity for the home side was lost when they gave away -guess what? - a penalty from the catch and drive. Several good runs from the mobile pair in the K’s second row – Matt Clifton and Rugbin Edwards – looked like they may open the Bridgy defence, but it held. A loose pass gave the visitors the opportunity for a break-away try but the ball just rolled into touch-in-goal. Goodland made his return to the fray taking over from Jack Evans.
Several more penalties gave the visitors an attacking platform and No 8 Brad Talbot spotted a small gap and strolled in for their second try to put them ahead 19-23 after the conversion. A new penalty, one they hadn’t had before – crossing – lost Keynsham a chance to go ahead again. Keynsham were reduced to 14 men when Coughlan was red-carded, but numbers were evened up a couple of minutes later when Heal was sin-binned. There was no more scoring but not for lack of effort on either side.
All-in-all an entertaining game – shame about the penalties, 1 bonus point is better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.
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.