Drybrook 29 - 8 Keynsham RFC
Keynsham ventured into the Forest of Dean to play high the flying Drybrook. With the ground in good condition, albeit slightly damp on the top layer, and good conditions the stage was set for an enjoyable game to ensue. The players on both sides did not disappoint, with plenty of skill, speed and effort on display.
The home side went ahead in the eighth minute with a try from Mitch Hale converted by Tom Treherne, to witch Keynsham replied by prop Phil Harvey; this came from a series of phases following a penalty which lead to a line-out 7 metres out. The conversion narrowly missed so the score stayed at 7-5. Keynsham were in defence mode when hooker Tom Lewis broke clear and dashed 40 + metres before being stopped. Keynsham then had a penalty shot to nudge then into the lead and Sam Challenger duly did the business; 7-8.
After Keynsham were marched back 10 following a penalty award Treherne took the opportunity to put Drybrook back in front 10-8. Further indiscipline cost Keynsham two players whilst they were under pressure near their own line and the home side duly took their chance almost immediately and touched down for their second try, Danny Price going over almost unopposed: Treherne’s 2 points made it 17-8. A loose kick from defence (not the only time this was to occur!) gave Drybrook the chance to run the ball back and winger Mitch Baldwin made fully 60 metres before being pulled down. Further pressure on the visitors’ line followed but stout and resolute defence forced a relieving penalty and brought the half to a close.
Keynsham, back to full strength shortly after the re-start were under significant pressure for the opening 10 minutes but the strength of the pack and overall defensive organisation prevented Drybrook from going further ahead. This storm weathered, it was Keynsham’s turn to attempt to turn the screw; they created a few of scoring chance but they came to nowt, this time Drybrook’s defence showing what they could do. After 27 minutes, Challenger had a shot at goal to try to reduce the deficit to more manageable 6 points but his kick sailed wide of the mark.
To add to this disappointment, 3 minutes later Drybrook got their third try, Mitch Baldwin crossing near the line and making it to under the posts for an easy conversion by Treherne – 24-8. Keynsham again caused some discomfort to the home defence but again could not make it count on the score board, over excitement or tiredness prevailed. Deep into over-time Keynsham should have cleared to touch but bravely, or foolishly, depending on one’s view, decided to run it back. This gave Drybrook their last chance at a 4th, and bonus point try: 7 phases then followed within the Keynsham 5 metre mark, culminating in a try by No 8 Matt Renton. We won’t talk about the conversion attempt! Final score 29-8.
The score did not tell the whole picture of the game and afterwards Drybrook’s players, officials and players were all very complementary about the performance of the whole squad, the pack being singled out en-bloc. If the team can put together another couple of performances like this then or spot in this league will be assured; if they don’t it could be squeaky bum time towards the end of the season – it’s up to you, guys!