Keynsham RFC 28 - 11 Cullompton RFC
Home supporters have been exposed to a series of really skilful and enjoyable games this season. This came to and end on Saturday when both teams failed to deliver the standard that is required. Whilst there was much to appreciate with verve and bravery on display there was very little else. Playing conditions, admittedly, took a turn for the worst with a strong blustery wind, incessant light rain throughout the first half, but neither side could string together any cohesive sustained periods of play. It reflected the league positions of the two sides, one 10th the other 13th and the match official on the day did not really help as his decisions were inconsistent at times.
The Keynsham scrum was dominant in the set pieces for the most part of the first have, but this diminished approaching half-time and the visitors then edged it a little; in the last 20 minutes this dominance returned however. The lineouts were a bit hit and miss but somehow seemed to work out on most occasions. It is hard to be specific where these were breaking down, was it wind factor, poor throwing, poor timing by jumpers/lifters or bad communication? Probably a combination, perm any from four!
There was also quite a bit of aimless, if one’s being harsh, or mis-directed, being kind, kicking from hand giving the visitors back three plenty of opportunity to run the ball back, which they frequently did to good effect.
Keynsham opened brightly but could find no way through a stalwart Cully defence and a long-range penalty by Sam Challenger missed narrowly. The visitors then went 6 points clear via 2 penalties from their winger, Luxton. After a series of drives the went wide quickly but right wing Cieran Chester was stopped short of the line. Then Challenger put the first K points on the board with a penalty. This was shortly before half time. In added time in this half, there was loose play from both sides until, eventually, Jack Weston getting the ball out wide and breaking a few tackles before feeding Joe Clements who crashed over in the corner. Challenger’s fine conversion bring the conclusion to the half at 10-6.
The second half saw the immediate introduction of Ben Angell for Phil Harvey at prop and Gaz Bradnock for Oli Sayer on the wing, Sam missed a penalty before Cullompton regained the lead following a couple of 5-metre lineouts, Charlie “the mole” Grant claiming the honour; conversion hit the upright. Sam slotted his next penalty to move Keynsham back into a slender 2-point lead. The impressive Matt Clifton was injured and replaced by Jack Cowan. Keynsham stretched away thereafter running up 15 points in the last 15 minutes. Firstly, Weston muscling his way over after a series of surges by the forwards, Challenger converting, a long-range penalty from the same player and an unconverted try by Weston again, this time from a push over scrum.
Final score 28-11. Consolation for the home supporters came with 4 league points won when the side hasn’t performed well. Good luck next week at Devonport Services boys.