Keynsham RFC 25 - 3 Trowbridge RFC
Led from the front by scrumhalf John Pearce, Keynsham`s performance levels took a monumental forward step from the previous 3 league games. Pearce was a constant threat to the visitors, sniping around the fringes or finding gaps in mid-field: this, in turn, brought the best out off Joe Davis at fly-half who had his best game for a long time. Add to this the return of `niggly-nause` in the pack after a few weeks absence and there you have several reasons for the improvement. The front 5 continue to dominate in the set piece, with line-outs still a problem.
An early doors penalty for a collapsed scrum gave Challenger the early chance of three points which was duly converted. A ruck 10 metres out followed a catch and drive move from a line out; from the middle of this burst `poacher-niggle-nause` to touch down theatrically-conversion wide. Trowbridge dominated play for the remainder of the half and were unlucky to see a penalty kick bounce off the upright. They did put 3 points on the board at the stoke of half time. Keynsham’s defence during that time was tremendous, with thunderous tackles coming in from all players; this defence was to be a notable feature of the second half too. If one tackle was to stand out it was Fennell’s on a large lumps pf Trowbridge beef which drew gasps from the crowd – alas, it could not have been as effective as it seemed because the perpetrator did not carry on for long, but the recipient finished the game. The first half could be summed up briefly by saying that both sides were guilty of forcing passes and trying to play too quickly from non-stable ball.
Matt Withey took over from Fennell at the start of the second half and Rueben Edwards for Jack Cowan 10 minutes later. Constant early pressure saw the home team stretch their lead when Withey emulated the `nause` and scooted through the centre of a ruck, Challenger converting his try. Earlier, surprisingly, Pearce had decided to spin a ball wide from the base of a fast forward moving scrum close to the line spurning a push-over try. The visitors again spent some time in K’s red zone but the attacks were resisted and Keynsham cleared their line. They lost an attacking lineout and were back scrambling in defence immediately. After 21 minutes Keynsham went 18-3 thanks to a penalty by Sam Challenger. Once again, the visitors took control of ball and territory for a long period, and, once again, Keynsham’s defence held firm. A penalty kick relieved the pressure and Pearcy made a wonderful break from mid-field; he was practically clear to the line until he was nearly decapitated, he got straight up and continued to run like a headless chicken but was eventually tackled. The visitors tried to run from defence but Cieran Chester scored an intercept try. Challenger had chipped some his toe-nail varnish by this stage and had gone of for repairs, so Joe Davis added the extras. To finish a fine performance ‘nause’ was sin-binned.