Promising start to rugby season after thrilling end to last league campaign
Keynsham Rugby secured their position in South West 1 League for the 2018/19 season by dint of a thrilling victory at home against the then league leaders Exeter University, writes our rugby reporter.
In front of a terrific and noisy crowd they surpassed all expectations and took the maximum five league points from the game. The fact that they lost their last two away games was irrelevant as they had done enough to finish a comfortable fourth from bottom.
The prospects look promising for the current season with most of the squad available and some new talent appearing from joining members and developing ex-colts. They lost their opening game away at Newent but it was a largely experimental side with many expected regulars not yet available. Their replacements did extremely well but tired in the last 15 minutes when Newent ran in 20 odd points to give them a rather flattering scoreline of 44-0.
Teignmouth came to Keynsham the following week and were soundly beaten 39-3. Keynsham had secured their try bonus by half time thanks in the main to fly-half Joe Davis’s hat trick. Then the lads travelled to Okehampton, one of the sides favoured for promotion this season. They fought back brilliantly after finding themselves 25-0 down at half time, bringing the scoreline to 25-21 at the close, securing a losing bonus point. They might even have stolen the win but for a yellow card eight minutes from time. It is an unconfirmed rumour that hooker Jack “The Poacher” Evans got a hat trick of tries.
The last match to cover in this issue was on September 22 when St Ives RFC made the long trip up from Cornwall. They were unfortunate to be delayed en route and had minimal preparation time but still came out all guns firing.
The home team’s defence, magnificent throughout, did not yield and by 20 minutes Keynsham led 14-0 courtesy of tries by Poacher Evans and scrum half Adam Harrison,
with Sam Challenger converting both.
The incessant heavy drizzle made handling conditions very tricky for both sides but the crowd enjoyed the effort and skill shown by home and visitors alike. Despite their best efforts the only other score was a penalty by Challenger. The team and coaches, who are very self-critical, will be annoyed they failed to add to their bonus points tally.