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Bourne on form with nine tries

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Bourne avenged last season's one-sided affair in the corresponding fixture at Bedford Queens.

Josh Lynch got a hat-trick of tries with doubles for JJ Roberts, Adam McHugh and Jamie Colangelo. Eight conversions and one penalty were kicked by Sam Evison.

The opening 20 minutes suggested that the game would be tightly fought with neither side giving much away.

Josh Lynch
Josh Lynch

Queens, with the conditions slightly to their advantage, enjoyed the greater share of territory and possession but Bourne's defence was impressive with everybody involved in keeping the hosts at bay.

Bourne finally managed to turn the ball over and they quickly showed what an attacking threat they are as the ball was shipped to wing Lynch who made good yards down the left flank before eventually being brought down on the Queens 22.

A good supporting chase by the pack meant the ball was quickly recycled and, with the backs lined up ready, it looked as though Bourne would break the deadlock.

As the Bourne backs looked to move the ball wide, the Queens defence shot up to pressure them and a loose pass in the midfield was cleverly intercepted meaning Queens took the lead.

The game continued for another 10 minutes with both sides looking relatively equal.

Bourne's efforts were thwarted by a lack of discipline and they were heavily penalised by the referee.

Often choosing not to compete at the breakdown, Bourne looked the much better side and a sterling defensive effort around the fringes was led by front-rowers Chris Greenwood, Harry Thornburn and Jake Appleby.

But on the occasions they threw themselves into the breakdown, the Bourne forwards were regularly found guilty of an array of infringements and Queens were allowed far too much opportunity to put their own stamp on the game.

On the half-hour mark Bourne once again showed their ability to attack from anywhere as Roberts caught a high ball inside his 22.

Having called a mark he tapped the ball before setting his side off on a long-range counter-attack. Colangelo did the most damage as he made a significant advance into the Queens 22 before linking up with Lynch whose clever line allowed him to cross under the posts. Evison was on target with his first attempt of the day.

Bourne opened the floodgates at this point with a flurry of points in the lead up to half-time.

The Bourne forwards continued to set a platform with captain Tom Dixon and fellow back-rower Adam Binns heavily involved.

A typical effort saw the entire team involved as they made their way upfield and Colangelo this time who finished the move. With Evison adding the extras, Bourne were a try ahead at 14-7.

They extended their lead a short while later from a lineout inside the Queens half. With the lineout secured by Binns, the ball went off the top and was quickly sent down the backline.

Colangelo was heavily involved again and he eventually linked with centre Sam Thornburn whose sublime pop back inside to McHugh threw the Queens' scrambling defence.

With plenty to do, McHugh managed to power his way over from 10 metres out. Attempting the conversion from the side of the pitch, Evison missed narrowly.

On the verge of half-time, Bourne were in rampant mood and looked to create an opportunity to add another try.

Working their way out of their own half, the Bourne forwards were instrumental again. Second-row Sam Harby and back-row Sam Cowell both carried well before a number of successive breakdowns were won quickly by their team-mates.

With momentum on their side, the Bourne backs shifted the ball and Colangelo showed his pace as he rounded the Queens defence with ease to score his second try. Evison added a difficult conversion to take his side into half-time with a healthy 26-7 lead.

Having picked up a number of serious injuries, reflecting Bourne's physical dominance, Queens look set to play the second half with just 14 men and Bourne were quick to take advantage.

From the kick-off Bourne set a ruck inside their own half before immediately utilising their backs to get the ball wide.

Finding himself in space, Lynch made ground and with just one man to beat he had the presence of mind to dummy a pass to Colangelo outside him before stepping inside the Queens defender and heading to the try-line for his second of the day. Evison was on target and just minutes into the second half Bourne were 33-7 ahead.

Bourne looked as though they would dominate the rest of the game but an apparent complacency saw them quickly fall foul of the referee.

After a string of decisions went against them, Bourne lost their patience and also their discipline.

With momentum very much favouring the hosts, they worked their way upfield through a number of penalties and Bourne eventually paid the price for a number of infringements with full-back Jack Berry being sin-binned for being offside.

With Bourne's numerical advantage taken away, their mistakes proved even more costly as Queens continued to apply pressure and eventually drove a maul 20 metres before claiming their second try.

Although disappointed to have conceded, Bourne weren't unduly fazed by Queens narrowing the gap but the task of defending their lead became even harder when five minutes after Berry's departure prop Greenwood joined him in the sin bin after being adjudged to have infringed at a scrum.

With both sides missing players, the game became disjointed and neither side could build many phases.

Despite having a man less, Bourne looked the better side in open play and they eventually earned a penalty inside the Queens half.

Dixon took the sensible decision to opt for a kick at goal, allowing his side to wind down the clock on Berry's sin-binning. Evison converted the long-range effort with ease and Bourne returned to 14 men with a lead of 36-14.

Using the break in play as a timely chance to make some changes, replacement Jack Lagdon took to the field instead of Berry, coach Andrew Brown replaced Dan Smith in the second row and Charlie Short replaced Cowell in the back row.

These replacements had an immediate impact and Bourne started to dominate once again.

A moment of brilliance from Roberts just moments later led to another seven-pointer.

Having drawn in the Queens defence through a number of breakdowns, Roberts spotted a gap behind the defensive line and placed a well-executed kick just inside the 22.

McHugh was the quickest player to react and sprinted through to gather and finish under the posts for his second try. Evison's conversion took the visitors to just short of 50 points.

From the restart Bourne were awarded a penalty inside their own half and, in contrast to his last penalty decision, Dixon chose this time to get his side firing quickly.

Taking the penalty quickly, Dixon caught the Queens defence off-guard. Having made good ground, Dixon then kicked the ball long and Roberts won the foot-chase to ground the ball over the line. Evison's kick brought up 50 points for the guests but Bourne weren't finished there.

Using the powerful Thornburn as a decoy, the Bourne backs ran a well-timed move which led to Lynch getting his hands on the ball.

With ground to cover and men to beat, Lynch did well to make yards - fending off a number of attempted tackles as he did so. Just short of the line, Lynch was hit by two last-ditch tacklers but showed strength to ride the tackles before regaining his balance and finishing an impressive effort.

With five minutes left Bourne stretched their lead again.

Brown gathered the restart and burst through the tired Queens defence. As the Queens defence caught up with him, Brown dropped the ball to his foot and kicked to the corner.

The kick looked to be heading to touch before the intervention of Binns who gathered the ball and threw a speculative pass back into play. Roberts had followed play and was well positioned to run onto Binns' pass before cutting a fantastic line to the Queens posts allowing him to dot down untroubled. Evison's conversion took Bourne to a final score of 64-14.

There was just time for the restart which resulted in a Bourne penalty allowing Dixon to put the ball well into touch.

Despite the Bourne backs scoring nine tries between them, it was the performance of the forwards that set the tone for such a convincing win.

And fittingly the man-of-the-match award went to Roberts who was the link between the two units.

He said: "When the forwards play like that, they put us in a very good position to win games and with the finishing power we have out wide we're a hard side to contain.

"We're a side now who has genuine talent from one to 15 and when we perform as a team we can defend and attack equally as well."

Brown added: "We may have got a lot of points on the board but we definitely left some out there and against better sides we won't have the luxury of doing that.

"The warm-up was slow and that was reflected in the first 20 minutes when we were under a lot of pressure, plus the penalty count was too high and two yellow cards could hurt us in close games.

"When we're good, we're very good but we need to try to maintain that level from start to finish."

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