Dogged Keynsham Rugby continue winning ways

October 12 2015

Keynsham increased their unbeaten run this season to five consecutive games with an away victory over Cheltenham on Saturday, October 10, winning 13-19.

by Rob Breckon

Keynsham increased their unbeaten run this season to five consecutive games with an away victory over Cheltenham on Saturday, October 10, winning 13-19.

The game didn’t start positively for the visitors, losing back row Hayden Johnson to an ankle injury which forced changes early on. Both sides also had opening shots at goal, on both occasions the respective kickers not finding the target.

It was Cheltenham who struck first, following some asserted pressure deep in Keynsham’s half with a number of phases resulting in hooker James Hillier burying over under the posts. Shortly after, Cheltenham’s Herbert added to his conversion with another two successful penalty kicks to take the home side 13-0 ahead in the first quarter.

However, Keynsham soon regrouped and began asking questions of the home side’s defence with three penalties on the bounce providing Keynsham with good field position in which Ben Newman crashed over to get the amber and blacks' first score of the day.

Continued attacking pressure by Keynsham looked to signal a swing in momentum had it not been for a staunch Cheltenham defence preventing another try in quick succession. Keynsham continued their attacking philosophy and a big ‘Gary Owen’ kick from within their own 22 looked to have found Cheltenham’s fullback until his spilt ball allowed Keynsham’s centre Dan Moody to retrieve possession and combine with winger Marlon Dorsett, who sprinted in from 40 metres for Keynsham’s second try. Fly half Joe Davies added the extras making the half time score 13-12.

A strong start to the second half for the visitors looked promising until hooker Paul Coops was sin binned. Herbert had the opportunity to add an early three points but was once again off target.

The majority of the third quarter both sides exchanged attacking phases of play with neither successfully penetrating the opposition’s defensive line with any real threat. However, as the game entered the final quarter with Keynsham chasing the game, their woes were increased as Newman was their second player to be sent to the bin. Herbert had another opportunity to increase Cheltenham’s lead but again was off target.

With less than five minutes to play, Keynsham showed their determined attitude and exerted a sustained period of pressure on the home side within their 22. Following Cheltenham losing a player to the sin bin, Keynsham, unlike their opponents, capitalised on their man advantage and following eight phases of play, replacement scrum half James Wetton produced a timely show to dive over and score the winning try with just two minutes left on the clock. Davies added the conversion making the score 13-19.

The restart provided Cheltenham with a last gasp opportunity to snatch the win but Keynsham took the restart well and after a few phases, kicked the ball out on the full for the win.

Captain Jack Weston said: “It was great to get another win. It was far from pretty and we are going to need to up our standards if we are to keep our winning ways but an away win in this league is no mean feat so I am delighted.

“Also, it was noted by the players and coaches alike the fantastic supporters who made the trip to Cheltenham. To have such strong support home and away means a great deal to us and can make such a difference when the game isn’t going our way.”