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.