Matson 16 - 5 Keynsham
Keynsham Rugby 1st XV were close to their first win in South West One West on Saturday when they travelled to Gloucester to face Matson RFC.
In torrential conditions, the weather ensured the game would not be free flowing but both teams started brightly carrying well and testing each other’s defence.
With the wind behind Matson in the first half, the home side capitalised on the conditions and kept Keynsham deep in their own half with a range of well-placed kicks.
Following some early pressure, Matson gained possession just outside the visitor’s 22 and good ball retention and hands in the backs saw Matson’s centre crash over for the first score of the game. The kick followed making it 7-0.
The remainder of the half saw the majority of the territory being played within Keynsham’s half, Matson also having the lion’s share of possession. Despite this, the amber and blacks demonstrated good resilience and defended well.
Whilst Keynsham’s efforts prevented Matson from crossing again in the first half, they were found to be on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle within kicking distance allowing Matson a shot at goal to make the half time score 10-0.
The heavens seemed to favour the home side as the second half began, the rain and wind significantly dropping, reducing Keynsham’s opportunity to capitalise on the conditions Matson were afforded in the first half.
Nonetheless, despite the limited possession, Keynsham made a number of good attacks breaking through the Matson defence and were unlucky not to finish with a couple of tries, the slippery conditions leading to some handling errors.
However, the break for the visitors came following a period of good pressure resulting in a scrum on Matson’s five metre line. Whilst both packs had shared the spoils throughout the game, Keynsham turned the screw and shoved the Matson pack backwards allowing captain and number 8 Jack Weston to dot down. 10-5.
As the minutes went by, Matson demonstrated a good ability to retain ball well in difficult conditions, testing Keynsham’s staunch defence which prevented the home side from crossing the whitewash again.
Frustratingly for the away side, as they chased the game, they conceded a number of penalties late on which allowed Matson’s kicker to relieve some pressure and add two penalties to the first half conversion making the final score 16-5.
With a try apiece and just separated by a couple of penalties, Keynsham can take confidence in their performance, especially their defence, as they look ahead to Saturday’s visit of Newent to Crown Fields.