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.