Convincing victory for Bourne
Bourne returned to action at Huntingdon after a week off and made the most of their break with a convincing 21-7 victory.
The visitors were put under serious pressure from the start but Bourne’s hard work on defending paid off as they remained solid throughout the opening exchanges.
Despite being the right side of the conditions and benefitting from playing down a slight slope, Bourne were pegged back inside their own twenty-two. Prop Sam Cowell, returning from a long injury lay-off, was heavily involved, and both the scrum and lineout were solid, allowing fly half Sam Evison to relieve the pressure with a number of decent kicks from hand.
Bourne opened the scoring against the run of play, centre Adam McHugh gathering the ball on the halfway line before making good ground towards the Huntingdon tryline. McHugh was eventually brought down inside the opposition twenty-two and Bourne worked the ball to fullback Jack Berry who made light work of cutting between a disorganised Huntingdon defence to score. Evison added the conversion.
Huntingdon continued to dominate the first half with territory and possession, but Bourne’s defensive efforts continued and they got to half-time with their 7-0 lead intact. Second row Keir Moore and back row Dan Smith led the way with a number of dominant tackles halting the hosts’ progress.
The second half was a much more open contest. Huntingdon had lost a number of their players through first half injuries and they looked to be tiring, allowing Bourne much more time with ball in hand.
Bourne’s next try came as scrum half JJ Roberts chased after a kick, outpacing Huntingdon’s last man in defence and touching down for the try. Evison added the extras with typical accuracy. An uncharacteristic mistake in defence allowed Huntingdon to reduce the arrears with their scrum half slipping behind the defensive line almost unnoticed before finishing with ease from 15 metres out.
Huntingdon added the conversion and their early confidence was restored.
The final quarter became a scrappy affair with neither side able to string many phases together. Replacement fullback Jamie Colangelo had a positive impact for Bourne and Josh Lynch’s impressive tackling typified the defensive efforts of a Bourne side desperate not to concede.
But it was Lynch’s attacking prowess that brought about Bourne’s next score. As the backs looked to go wide, Lynch showed a combination of strength, agility and pace to avoid the rest of the Huntingdon defence and crash over the tryline to score. Evison again added the extras.
With both sides chasing a bonus point, too many mistakes restricted progress by either side and the game eventually fizzled out to a conclusion.
Bourne coach Andrew Brown was pleased to secure the win and praised his team for their defensive efforts.
“It was a difficult afternoon and Huntingdon put in a comprehensive attacking display,” he said.
“But our hard work at training, particularly on defence, paid off and we made the most of the few opportunities we had in attack. If we’re harsh on ourselves I think we’ll accept we have to be better against some of the top sides in the league but we’ll be working hard in training again this week and we know we have it in us.”
Centre McHugh, echoed Brown’s sentiments.
“We did okay today,” he said.
“We tackled well and although we had less possession than we might normally expect, we outscored a decent side three tries to one.
“Coming up against the likes of Oakham will undoubtedly be a different test, but if we defend as we did today, and get our hands on the ball more often, we know we can play at the sort of level that will test even the best sides in the league.”