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.