Keynsham RFC 15 - 10 Devonport Services RFC
The re-played fixture took place at the Crown Field on Saturday, a dry but very windy day, with the wind blowing from corner to corner. Keynsham started really brightly with the wind behind, despite making a mistake at the first kick off. They turned the ball over from the first scrum, won a penalty and from the ensuing line out near the corner Joe Clements forced his way across the try line; Sam Challenger slotting a terrific conversion. In the sixth minute, a raking kick by Challenger took the home side up to the 5 metre mark. Services messed up the line out and from the following advancing scrum, scrum half and skipper, John Pearce spotted a gap on the blind side and scuttled over for try no 2. This time Challenger`s kick narrowly missed.
Thereafter Devonport began to exert control. Winger Mikey Johnson made a great run and split the defence but the last pass went to ground. They eventually got their reward after 34 minutes when prop Struan Main scored wide out after Keynsham’s defence had been stretched both ways. This was not converted. A great run from the kick off by Services fly half Tom Pullinger, opened up a further opportunity before half time, but K's defence held out. It was a sloppy performance all round in the last 30 minutes of the half, both sides trying too hard to create openings.
The second half started with the visitors in ascendance. They got their driving mauls rolling and pressurised the home defence but the defence held. The Keynsham defence was ‘in your face’ for long periods of the game and this probably caused the visitors winger to drop the ball when a try seemed inevitable after a fine break from their hooker. They did however close the gap to just 2 points when winger Johnson made the most of space near the touch line and fed the supporting Ed McGinley for their second try. From the kick off Keynsham gained possession only for Moody to be pinged for holding on, which he was also sin binned for much to the surprise of the spectators. The resulting long range attempt was wide of the mark. Lewis Bush and George Powell took over from Dan Harvey and Phil Harvey respectively.
With 20 minutes left and playing against the strong wind it seemed like Keynsham were up against it. The boys seemed to have a different idea. Working their way out of their own 22 to within 10 metres of Devonport's line, it was excellent ball retention and work rate from forwards and backs alike as they went through 25 phases. The end result a penalty in front of the posts which was duly slotted by Challenger, moving the score to 15-10.
A shuffle in the back line saw James Wetton take over at 9 and John Pearce move to the wing. The remaining 15 minutes consisted of Devonport throwing everything at the Keynsham line only to be repelled each time. A driving line out resulted in another yellow card, this time for Bushy. The 14 men held out though and a huge scrum with the reintroduction of Harvey at prop won the penalty with a couple of minutes on the clock. The home side took the scrum again and a great platform allowed Man of the Match Hayden Johnson to gallop away down the blindside making valuable metres. After a couple of pick and goes Wetton kicked it off for the park with Keynsham holding out for an important victory. A good result for the lads showing excellent grit and determination in the last 20 minutes when all things considered they played well below their capability.
Thank you to Virtue Interior Systems for their sponsorship of Saturdays game. Keynsham ran out comfortable winners over bottom placed Coney Hill scoring 8 tries in the process. Our match sponsors picked Joe Davies as their man of the match!
Keynsham RFC 27 - 22 Devonport Services RFC (Game Abandoned after 63 minutes)
Was this a game or wasn’t it? The question was raised time and time again in the after-time assessments. In truth, the answer will be given definitively by the League authorities in the fullness of time.
It was a match of two sections, a half and two thirds! The first half saw a dominant Keynsham who went in at half time leading 24-10. The second session was all Devonport Services; they had brought the score back to 27-22 when the referee pulled a fetlock after about 25 minutes and could not continue. There was no other qualified referee in attendance unfortunately.
The home team went ahead 3-0 courtesy of a penalty by Joe Davies and stretched that to 10 by from a try by prop Ben Angell, converted by Davies. Having another of his better days, Davies then converted his own try. Services came back to 17-10 via two unconverted tries before second rower, Dan Harvey stepping up from the second xv, scored K’s third try; Davies once again adding the extras.
The visitors came out of the blocks quickly in the second session with a converted try. Davies then replied with a penalty to move it to 10 points lead again. Keynsham’s tackling, much vaunted this season – and rightly so – fell away badly in this section and Devonport scored another unconverted try. They were, therefore, a bonus point to the good when the game stopped.
It seems that there are several options open in regard to this match. Game void - replay being the most likely. A potential problem is the lack of alternate dates before the end of season; it is unlikely that Devonport could make the long trip for a mid-week re-play. Let the result stand – could be crucial league points at stake by the end of the season for both or either sides. Call it a draw, 2 points each – same potential difficulty. Wait and see – depends on both teams’ results in the remaining games. Or maybe the League authorities have another cunning Baldric plan! We shall see.
A big thank you to our match day sponsors IVC Vetcare, thank you for your continued support!
THE GAME IS BEING PLAYED ON SATURDAY 16TH MARCH, KEYNSHAM HAVE HAD TO FORFEIT THEIR SOMERSET CUP GAME WHICH WAS DUE TO BE PLAYED ON FRIDAY 15TH MARCH.
Keynsham RFC 19 - 41 Hornets RFC
Improvements will be forthcoming, no doubt? That was the question posed after 2 very poor performances. There were some slightly better aspects when the first xv played Hornets at the Crown Field on Saturday, but not many, and not enough, as they missed an opportunity of stretching the gap away from a relegation spot with home advantage.
Hornets started stronger and pressurised the home line but the defence held and they moved up-field. Once there, two massive driving mauls took them to the line and Joe Clements, playing as hooker on this occasion, squeezed over for a try, which Sam Challenger converted after 13 minutes. 10 minutes later, a very slick handling movement by the visitors created space for their highly elusive winger, Carter, to beat several defenders in a weaving run to the line from 40 metres out. This was converted to equal things up. Bushy retired with a knee injury shortly thereafter and was replaced by Rugbin Edwards. He played as flanker with Matt Withey moving to no 8. 31 minutes in, and Rob Breckon was sin-binned for a high tackle. From the resultant penalty Hornets had a 5-metre line out and in the ensuing phases their centre Gadd scored try no 2, which was also converted. Keynsham came back and pressurised the visitors’ line, leading to a yellow card to level the team numbers. They gave away a penalty when in a try scoring position and a huge clearance kick was not cleared up by the home side and a third, this time unconverted, try was shipped. The half ended with yet another Keynsham attacking move lost by a mistake in handling. Score 7-19.
Once again, the front 5 dominated set play proceedings, once again the line outs did not function consistently, once again too many mistakes in all areas of the pitch. Plenty to talk about at half time then.
The second half started with Keynsham still in a generous mood. They made a hash of gathering the re-start kick, fumbled with a bouncing ball and lost a defensive line-out to give the Hornets an attacking platform. From a forward drive, held up near the line, their stand-off, Disney, sneaked around the short side and stole in for their bonus point try. (There was then a lengthy pause whilst a Keynsham prop forward had lessons from another forward as to how to put on a boot properly and lace it up). Keynsham then had what was to be their only period of dominance. Firstly, Rich Court fought his way clear from a catch and drive line-out to touchdown and 6 minutes later, after a series of 5-metre scrums, were awarded a penalty try. This narrowed the gap to 5 points at 19-24 and all to play for.
Oops, the local boys again failed to handle the re-start and the gap was back to 10 points with a gifted try. Keynsham’s scrum dominance was snatched away at this point when the scrums became uncontested, although they were, as the rules stipulate, playing against 14 Hornets. It was Hornets who still had the sting (sorry, I had to work that in!) and ran in two more tries, one unconverted and the other one converted at the final whistle.
Disappointing, but credit to the visitors, whose back three were very impressive with ball in hand.
It is time for the squad to regroup and consider if they wish to continue to play at this league level. To do so requires them to play as a team not individuals, and to remember that training and commitment to one’s teammates is a necessity not a luxury, to be done at will.
Keynsham RFC 25 - 3 Trowbridge RFC
Led from the front by scrumhalf John Pearce, Keynsham`s performance levels took a monumental forward step from the previous 3 league games. Pearce was a constant threat to the visitors, sniping around the fringes or finding gaps in mid-field: this, in turn, brought the best out off Joe Davis at fly-half who had his best game for a long time. Add to this the return of `niggly-nause` in the pack after a few weeks absence and there you have several reasons for the improvement. The front 5 continue to dominate in the set piece, with line-outs still a problem.
An early doors penalty for a collapsed scrum gave Challenger the early chance of three points which was duly converted. A ruck 10 metres out followed a catch and drive move from a line out; from the middle of this burst `poacher-niggle-nause` to touch down theatrically-conversion wide. Trowbridge dominated play for the remainder of the half and were unlucky to see a penalty kick bounce off the upright. They did put 3 points on the board at the stoke of half time. Keynsham’s defence during that time was tremendous, with thunderous tackles coming in from all players; this defence was to be a notable feature of the second half too. If one tackle was to stand out it was Fennell’s on a large lumps pf Trowbridge beef which drew gasps from the crowd – alas, it could not have been as effective as it seemed because the perpetrator did not carry on for long, but the recipient finished the game. The first half could be summed up briefly by saying that both sides were guilty of forcing passes and trying to play too quickly from non-stable ball.
Matt Withey took over from Fennell at the start of the second half and Rueben Edwards for Jack Cowan 10 minutes later. Constant early pressure saw the home team stretch their lead when Withey emulated the `nause` and scooted through the centre of a ruck, Challenger converting his try. Earlier, surprisingly, Pearce had decided to spin a ball wide from the base of a fast forward moving scrum close to the line spurning a push-over try. The visitors again spent some time in K’s red zone but the attacks were resisted and Keynsham cleared their line. They lost an attacking lineout and were back scrambling in defence immediately. After 21 minutes Keynsham went 18-3 thanks to a penalty by Sam Challenger. Once again, the visitors took control of ball and territory for a long period, and, once again, Keynsham’s defence held firm. A penalty kick relieved the pressure and Pearcy made a wonderful break from mid-field; he was practically clear to the line until he was nearly decapitated, he got straight up and continued to run like a headless chicken but was eventually tackled. The visitors tried to run from defence but Cieran Chester scored an intercept try. Challenger had chipped some his toe-nail varnish by this stage and had gone of for repairs, so Joe Davis added the extras. To finish a fine performance ‘nause’ was sin-binned.