Teignmouth 17 - 12 Keynsham
A goodly crowd of supporters made the trip to Devon to watch what was expected to be a close game in South West 1 league, and were not disappointed. The sides were extremely well matched and showed every willingness to play fast open rugby. Dominated by two teams whose defence was strong and aggressive, there were many errors made on both sides throughout. Forced, by dint of a combination of injury and non-availability, to field two players in the second row unused to that position Ryan Harding (normally a prop) and Oakley Goodland (normally no 8) both performed really well to ensure near parity at the set pieces, of which there were quite a few.
Both teams tested each other out in the early stages with play moving swiftly from 1 end to the other. At one stage Keynsham had a period of pressure inside the home 22 but failed to get on the scoreboard. An early change of personnel saw Teignmouth prop Callum Browse replace Ben Allison. From a penalty for holding on in a tackle, Teignmouth had a 5-metre lineout and from the ensuring action Jack Bowden touched down for the opening try; conversion missed 5-0. There was a free kick at the Keynsham kick-off and a tapped penalty saw the home side make 40 metres but Keynsham’s scrambling defence made the situation safe. Keynsham wing-forward Callum Fennel was yellow carded for what was deemed a dangerous tackle and shortly thereafter they spoilt a possible try when ever-threatening centre Will Sowden’s pass went into touch. Pressure from Keynsham near the end of the half saw Jack Weston, from a scrum near the line, flip the ball to Jon Pearce, who scooted over for a touchdown; Challengers conversion edging Keynsham ahead 5-7. Teignmouth probably just edged the 1st half due to territory and chances, so the stage was set for a close 2nd half.
The kick-off at the start of the 2nd half was not taken cleanly, but the situation was tidied up and Brad Newton burst away from defence with a 70 metre break stopped just short of the line ( a Weston style dive might just have made it!). The ensuing line out led eventually to a try by Jack Evans; conversion missed, 5-12. Straight away Keynsham were back on the attack, stout defensive work this time stopping George Warren from crossing. More pressure followed but no rewards were forthcoming. Tim Coughlan was replaced by his brother Matt at this stage. It was soon time for Teignmouth’s turn to exert pressure and Keynsham failed to take a golden opportunity to clear their line lead to a try by no 8 Alex Ford; conversion missed 10-12. From the re-start it was Teignmouth who failed to tidy up the kick and Keynsham were, yet again stopped on the line. Joe Davis was subbed for Rob Breckon with an arm injury. The home side were soon back in Keynsham’s 22 and following a series of lineouts and scrums centre Will Sowden shouldered his way through the defence to score near the posts; Mike Saxton converting 17-12. With 5 minutes to go, Jack Josham was introduced for Ryan Harding and there was a double substitution for Teignmouth. For the last 7 minutes the action was all within Teignmouth’s 10 metre line. Scrum after scrum, penalty after penalty, lineout after lineout yet still the home defence held. They lost scrumhalf Kyran Rendle to a yellow card but the last movement of the game saw Keynsham knock on in the centre whilst going wide.
Final result 17-12, giving Keynsham a losing bonus to take back only.
Possibly they deserved more than that but they will have to be more clinical and make better decisions at crucial times. Nevertheless a good game to watch, so thank you boys.