Bourne's big win over Daventry set up by first-half display
Bourne bounced back from the disappointment of their opening league fixture with a dominant display.
Having conceded two tries in the first 10 minutes against Stockwood Park, they were keen to start well and certainly looked fired up.
From the kick-off Bourne made good yards through the forwards and quickly secured a ruck on the halfway line.
From here the ball made its way along the backline and, as the Daventry backs were drawn to defend the powerful carrying of centre Sam Thornburn, he gave a well-timed pass to wing Josh Lynch.
Lynch made light work of stepping inside his man to finish from 30 metres out. Centre Sam Evison had the luxury of his first kick at goal being directly in front of the posts and slotted the conversion with ease.
Bourne gathered the restart and looked to maintain their pressure quickly shipping the ball wide - this time Thornburn carried and made good ground before being brought down on the Daventry 22-metre line.
The Bourne forwards had done well to stay in range and were quick to recycle the ball.
Realising they now had extra men to the other side of the field, Bourne shipped the ball the other way.
Fly-half Adam McHugh was grateful to see his speculative pass wide take a lucky bounce straight into the hands of the oncoming wing Jamie Colangelo who then rounded his man to cross and extend his side's lead.
From in front of the posts again Evison added the extras untroubled.
While it was the Bourne backs that were claiming the points, it was the forwards that were creating the platform by utterly dominating the opening stages.
The home pack were clearly buoyed by the return of prop Chris Greenwood after an enforced absence in the early stages of the season and he certainly seemed to be in decent form.
Bourne also benefitted from having new recruit Gary Farrell in the back row who is also proving to be a welcome addition.
In almost identical fashion to the first try, Bourne added another but this time Lynch - tracked well by the last of the Daventry defenders - returned the ball to Thornburn who was supporting on his inside shoulder and he crossed for his side's third try in 15 minutes. Evison once again added the extras from under the posts.
Bourne made their first error at the restart as they failed to claim the ball and were fortunate to see it bounce off the pitch untouched giving them the throw-in to the lineout.
This mistake was quickly rectified as the lineout was won and quick ball off the top was fed to McHugh whose neat little step inside and no-look pass outside fell perfectly to Colangelo.
The move took the Daventry defence completely by surprise and Colangelo made serious yards as he coasted towards the middle of the field.
As the scrambling defence surrounded Colangelo, he threw a sublime long-range pass to Thornburn who crossed to score his second. Evison converted with a fourth kick from right in front of the posts.
Mixing things up from the restart, the Bourne pack carried down the narrow side and and looked as though they might add a try of their own.
Fantastic interlinking from back-row partners Tom Dixon and Keir Moore took them to within 10 metres but the final pass didn't quite find its target and bounced loosely into touch, bringing to an abrupt end to what might have been the pick of the afternoon's tries.
Daventry finally got their hands on the ball and with 15 minutes of the half remaining Bourne were starved of possession for a five-minute period.
Thornburn, heavily involved in much of Bourne's good work in the first 40 swung momentum back to his side.
As Daventry tried to attack the middle of the field, Thornburn met his man and ripped the ball with ease before setting off for the try line.
The Daventry defence was up to the task this time but as Thornburn was hit, the tackle was considered to be high and the hosts were awarded a penalty. Although not quite in front of the posts, the kick was fairly straight-forward and Evison added another three points.
With 10 minutes left in the half, Bourne made a couple of changes to their line-up which immediately became significant as replacement back-rower Dan Wiggin was yellow-carded within two minutes of taking to the pitch.
Although down to 14 men, Bourne still looked to be in charge and after some efficient recycling by the forwards the backs were once again given the chance to take the ball wide.
This time it was Thornburn, returning the favour, who fed Colangelo who cruised in from the halfway line. Evison was on target with the conversion again.
Daventry got their hands on the ball once again and began to build some momentum but solid defence by the Bourne forwards in particular saw the ball coughed up before being gathered by Colangelo who found a gap and showed his speed as he crossed for a first-half hat-trick. Not surprisingly Evison, from in front of the posts, added another two points.
With five minutes left in the half, it was clear that Bourne had no intention of switching off.
With a scrum on the Daventry 22-metre line, the Bourne pack - led by Greenwood and his front-row partners Harry Thornburn and Jake Appleby - drove their opposite men a long way backwards before the ball eventually came out.
After keeping the ball close and tying in the Daventry defence with two quick rucks taking them to the five-metre line, the ball was sent wide and Colangelo was the grateful recipient with the simple task of finishing his side's effort. Colangelo's fourth try took Bourne to the 50-point mark and Evison's conversion gave them the extra two as half-time arrived.
The half-time break brought about a very different second half.
Daventry, who had barely threatened the Bourne defence in the first half, caught them napping as the second 40 began and quickly crossed for a try of their own as Daventry went one way before switching back and finding space down the side of the pitch.
Playing into an ever increasing wind, it was unlikely that Bourne would repeat their feats of the first half but a string of decisions against them saw them starved of possession and camped inside their own 22.
With an array of confusing decisions by the referee and the game stopping and starting frequently, a frustrated Bourne side lost structure and the game became too scrappy for either side to be able to build any significant momentum.
Bourne, who had played so positively in the first half, seemed to suffer most with the game being officiated in such a fashion and Daventry relished watching their hosts being restricted from scoring too many points.
Bourne continued to dominate all facets of play but couldn't turn the pressure into points.
The forwards looked to have created an opportunity inside the Daventry half having pushed their opponents off a scrum but the decision was reversed after Bourne skipper Dixon enquired as to whether his side had advantage. The backs then worked a fantastic move taking them to within yards of the Daventry try-line before being called back for a forward pass.
The following 20 minutes were scoreless with play very much centred around the halfway line.
Bourne eventually found some resolve digging deep to build some momentum and the forwards took control at every opportunity.
Twenty minutes into the second half Bourne were finally awarded a penalty. Dixon looking to settle his side called on Evison to add another three points.
Play stagnated again in the final quarter, broken only when the Bourne backs linked once again to weave their way upfield.
Full-back Jack Berry was involved prominently in the second half and almost the entire backline was involved in the final try of the game as Lynch rounded off a decent team effort. Evison brought his personal tally to 22 points with another straight-forward conversion.
Although it didn't appear the full 80 minutes were up, the game was brought to an end with Lynch's try but, after a sloppy second half, neither side seemed unhappy.
Bourne had been much the better side and their 50-point haul in the first half proved enough to ensure a comfortable win, taking them to fourth in the league table.
Dixon said: "We were good in the first half - the forwards bettered the Daventry pack meaning we could set a good platform for the backs and they made the rest look easy.
"But we felt like the second half was managed in a way that was nothing more than an effort to even the game up and that shouldn't happen at this level. Every point matters and dominance by one side should be rewarded not restricted."
Man of the match Colangelo added: "It's great to score four tries in a game but I was just the guy lucky enough to be on the end of the hard work - the ball has to be won by the forwards and shipped through the backs before it gets to me. When everyone's playing at the sort of tempo it's easy to get across the try line."
More by this authorMark Lea