Keynsham Rugby realise their potential
Keynsham Rugby Club’s season is improving. Although there are only two weekends of rugby to report, plus a vets’ tour to Manchester, the mood is much brighter at the Crown Field.
Keynsham Rugby realise their potential
Keynsham Rugby Club’s season is improving. Although there are only two weekends of rugby to report, plus a vets’ tour to Manchester, the mood is much brighter at the Crown Field – at least it was, prior to the flooding!
There was a wonderful game of rugby between two contrasting sides when the local club welcomed Barton Hill. The opening 20 minutes were played at a frenetic pace and seldom dropped to pedantic thereafter.
In essence it was a battle between a side with a totally dominant pack, at least in the set pieces (Barton Hill) and one with a lively and innovative backline.
Following a break from winger James Hurrell-Smith, no 8 New Newman scored a try, converted by Ben Bolster, and Keynsham took a seven-point lead. Barton Hill then edged ahead through a try and a penalty, but another penalty from Bolster put the home side ahead again. Barts led again at half time from a try, 15-10.
It was all Barton Hill’s pack in the second half but K defended magnificently and led after 25 minutes in the second half through a super try from Hurrell-Smith, converted by Bolster. Barton Hill responded immediately with another forwards’ try, converted, to lead 22-17.
The last 12 minutes (including nine minutes of over-time) saw Keynsham doing everything but score what would have been an equalising try. They had to be satisfied with a losing bonus point, but turned in a great team performance.
The seconds notched a great win away at Gordano, triumphing 20-8, with all the points coming from winger Rob Breckon with a try and five penalties. This week the team cut out the silly mistakes that have been rife, and played with great heart and discipline.
The thirds won at home against Weston 3rds in a thriller, 37-36. K’s try scorers were Russ Tanner (four) and Scott Leach; John Piece adding four conversions. Paul Greatbanks was man of the match.
The club also put out a fourth team + six subs, in a friendly against Bristol Barbarians, which given the number of injured players who are unavailable, is indicative of the enjoyment people are getting from playing at KRFC. The fact that they lost heavily is irrelevant.
The firsts came away from a rare win in the Forest of Dean when they trounced the home team by 49 points to eight. This was a superb performance from the whole squad and at last the potential they have been showing came to a climax. They were strong in all facets of play, from the front row through to the full back.
Paul Edson, at stand-off, coming back from injury, gave a fine display of tactical kicking and capped it off with a try. K’s main points scorer was Ben Bolster with 29, two tries, five conversions and three penalties; Mark Harwood had two touchdowns and Joe Blann with one, completed the scoring.
The seconds won against Taunton 2nds at the Crown Field with another excellent display 46-27. There were tries for Russ Tanner (two), Sam Challenger (two), Luke Coles, Sam Williams and Matt Fairlass. The latter added 11 points from his boot.
The 3rds went down heavily against a strong Oldfield 2nd XV 37-5. Keynsham’s points came from a try by Nick Hatcliffe.
Despite only being able to field 14 players, the 4ths beat Mid Norton 4ths 11-5. The try scorer was Kieran Harvey and Dave Scott added a conversion and a penalty.
In between these weekends a touring party of 19 players and 28 supporters had a great trip to Tyldesley, near Manchester, only losing one of the party who safely returned to Keynsham under his own steam!
They put in a tremendous performance against a squad of 28 opponents who were able to keep up a supply of fresh, if not young, legs. It took a while for the Keynsham players to shake off the effects of the travel, and alcohol, and by then the home side had gone into a 12-0 lead.
Thereafter it was a different story and Keynsham had the better of the remainder of the game. Despite tries from arch “poacher” Bismark du Pllessis, fed yet again by Mike Marsh and two magnificent scores from Kenny Seager, they failed to turn the key on a victory and were edged out in a really enjoyable game 22-17. Danny Slade scooped the man of the match award away from Nick Elliot in a closely-run ballot.
If the tide ever recedes, next home fixtures are: December 8, 2nds v Nailsea/Backwell. December 15, 1sts v Yatton. January 5, 2nds v Minehead.