Weaver makes amends with last-gasp winner for the Ks
Keynsham in action against Newport (above, below and opposite) during a closely fought encounter
IT was a dismal day with a sodden pitch, and Keynsham travelled to Newent on December 21 with a much under-strength side, as evinced by the fact that veteran prop forwards were starters and coach Matt Dew was called into action from the subs’ bench.
The home side looked like overpowering Keynsham in the first 20 minutes, but the defence restricted Newent to one unconverted try.
Newent then missed opportunities by opting to tap-and-go penalties with kickable penalties offered. Then two penalties from Keynsham’s Dean Weaver saw Keynsham finish the half a point clear at 5-6.
In the second half, Keynsham’s self-belief grew. A head injury to Kieran Etheridge saw Ryan Harding switch to front row from the second row and the aforementioned Dew crawled into the second row.
Newent retook the lead from a penalty, then Weaver replied to make it 8-9.
Keynsham got the chance to seal the game with a penalty in front of the posts, but Weaver made a hash of it. But at the last gasp, Weaver made up for this miss by slotting a beauty from near the touchline. Phew! 12-8 and 4 league points.
n Both sides came out of the trap firing on all cylinders when Keynsham travelled to Newton Abbott on January 4. Early-doors the ‘All Whites’ were penalised at a ruck and Sam Challenger kicked over from 10 metres.
The home side were straight back on the attack. In or around Keynsham’s 22 they opted to go for the corner rather than a shot at goal.
The defence yielded another penalty, with the same result, but the defence held and when offered a third penalty they went for goal and equalised through their centre, Sweeney.
Keynsham bounced back when a cross kick to Marlon Dorset led to fly half Dean Weaver touching down in the corner - the conversion failed.
After 25 minutes, Sweeney made it 6-8 with a penalty. Five minutes later, stand-off Allen touched down for an unconverted try. No8 Mackin added a second try to make it 16-8. Then Matt Carr struck back with the try he deserved to leave just 3 points in it at the end of an exciting half.
A knock-on from the kick-off was a sign of things to come. Five minutes in, still under pressure from the first error, another converted penalty made it 19-13. Then Joe Clements barged his way over for a try - 19-18.
Bryden Tanner replaced Dean Bodman at this stage. Probably the decisive point in the game came in the 15th minute when the home side’s winger, Davey, intercepted on the halfway line and just had the legs to get across the whitewash for a converted try. Ten minutes later, another converted try opened up a 15-point gap - scorer Allen, conversion Sweeney. A second try by Matt Carr gave the visitors brief hope at 33-23 but despite another jinking run by Carr that was the end of the scoring.
This win was the first of the season for Newton Abbott and they deserved it. A try bonus was just about what we were worth on the day.
n Keynsham hosted North Petherton on January 11.
A forced reshuffle meant veterans Bodman and Tanner continued in the front row, a new back row formation was in place, and the backs were switched about.
We went 5 points down when the Petherton left wing chipped through for a try by the right wing. After 28 minutes gone, more rubbish tackling allowed swift transferral of the ball to the right winger to touch down for his second try.
Five minutes before half time Bodman yielded to Darren Uren in the front row and on the whistle, Dorset was yellow-carded for an alleged deliberate knock-on. At half time the score was just 15-0 - it could well have been double that, as the visitors had enjoyed over 80 per cent possession and territory.
Within a minute of the
re-start Peterton were 3 more points ahead from a penalty. A brief spark from the Ks saw bursts by Joe Clements, Matt Carr and Cieran Chester bring a chance of a try to Carr, which he gratefully accepted. But a try by the visitors’ other winger, converted, opened up an 18-point gap.
To shake things up, Bodman returned for Tanner and Joe Concannon came on for Josh Clayfield. Keynsham scored a second try from a blind-side move at a line-out, Josh Woodman the scorer. A contratemp between two wingers saw Carr and his opposite number side-lined for 10 minutes. The substitute visitors’ hooker scored their final try.
Final score 10-30 - an absolute disaster for Keynsham.
n Keynsham’s visit to Sidmouth on January 18 was a cracker - two evenly matched sides going hammer and tongs at each other. After 8 minutes, loose play saw the ball break to Sidmouth scrum half Cameron Grainger, who slipped it to the supporting full back Sam Meadham to score; unconverted.
Eight minutes later, a pass from Ks centre Ollie Conybeare split the defence and left-wing Matt Carr sprinted in from 25 metres to dive over for a try at the corner (unconverted) to make it 5-5.
On 20 minutes the visitors edged in front with a penalty from Sam Challenger. This was equalised by a penalty by Dan Retter, the home stand-off. On the 30-minute mark, Chiefs wing-forward Rabbie Hansford squeezed over for another
Five minutes from half-time, a Keysham scrum drove Sidmouth fully 10 metres before they were awarded a penalty, converted by Challenger. Keynsham’s mistakes, mainly un-forced, had led to all the home side's points - 13-11.
The second half started with Briden Tanner taking over at prop for Phil Harvey. After 17 minutes, a break by the home centre from a retreating scrum saw Grainger in support and he shot through from 20-plus metres for Sidmouth’s third try, converted by Retter.
A yellow card followed for a home side player and Keynsham capitalised in the 21st minute - a catch and drive from a line-out 15 metres out saw winger Rob Breckon join the maul, secure the ball and get driven over for a try, converted by Challenger.
Now the score was 20-18 and Harvey returned to replace Ryan Harding and Joe Clements for Jack Josham. A Rutter penalty stretched the lead to 5 points and Dan Moody replaced Conybeare in the centre. A great last-minute tackle by Cieran Chester saved a Chiefs’ try but with 8 minutes left Rutter missed a penalty opportunity.
From here it was all Keynsham. A break, kick and chase by Breckon put the Ks well into the home 22, but despite several penalties and scrums in the `red zone` the visitors were unable to get the equalising score.
Truly superb defence by Sidmouth saved the day for a really tight win.