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Moore is star man in Bourne's away win

Bourne made the long trip to Dunstablians looking to consolidate last week's dominant display.

The day didn't start well and a late drop-out meant a change of personnel was required - the most significant seeing player-coach Andrew Brown slotting into prop.

Brown must have thought it was going to be a long day when he saw Adam Binns, out of position on the wing, yellow-carded inside the opening five minutes.


Binns had chased a crossfield kick and made a clumsy tackle on his opposite man who was in the air having jumped to gather the ball.

Although it was a far from an ideal start, Bourne rallied and quickly worked their way into the Dunstablians 22.

The Bourne forwards worked at a good tempo and this quickly caused their hosts problems in defence.

Although Dunstablians enjoyed some respite when they cleared their line momentarily, wing Josh Lynch retrieved the ball and showed real strength as he ran towards the try line.

With Lynch eventually brought down, the ball was quickly recycled. When centre Sam Thornburn got his hands on it, he crashed over with ease. From some way out Sam Evison was on target with his first kick of the day.

Minutes later Evison added a long-range penalty and took his side to a 10-0 lead as they ended the sin-bin period.

If Binns' first contribution had threatened his side's chances, he quickly made amends. Cleverly reading an attack inside the Bourne half, Binns sprinted onto a poorly timed pass and after intercepting the ball he ran in from 60 metres to cross under the posts. Evison added the extras once again.

Dunstablians grew into the game and the second quarter was closely contested.

The Bourne forwards were heavily involved - hooker Harry Thornburn, second-row Sam Harby and back row Gary Farrell put in strong performances in attack while skipper Tom Dixon, prop Jake Appleby and second-row Wally Wallis kept their opponents at bay.

The score didn't change before half-time but Bourne were close to scoring on a number of occasions.

Scrum-half JJ Roberts was impressive with his control of the game and Thornburn, having made several strong runs, arguably could have bagged a hat-trick before the half finished with a bit more self-belief.

Thornburn set the tone for the second half as he made another typically strong break.

With Thornburn brought down just short of the Dunstablians try line, the Bourne pack reacted quickly and the ball was recycled before the home side could ready themselves.

Keeping the ball tight, flanker Keir Moore showed agility to sneak between the Dunstablians defence and extend his side's lead.

Moore was dynamic throughout the game and his try capped a man-of-the-match performance. Evison added the conversion and Bourne were 24-0 ahead.

Bourne continued to dominate possession and territory but Dunstablians played their part and forced the visitors to work for their rewards.

After a period of sustained pressure, Bourne eventually won a penalty and - although a long way out - Evison notched another three points with ease.

Evison then gave a timely reminder that he also offers plenty with the ball in hand.

Having broken through an attempted tackle by his opposite man, Evison found himself well marshalled by a number of Dunstablians players yet somehow made considerable ground dragging a number of them with him.

Evison's break had left the home team in disarray and as Bourne looked to take advantage, Thornburn crossed for his second try. From the touchline Evison missed narrowly.

Dunstablians didn't give up and Bourne were tested defensively in the final quarter - a challenge made all the harder when full-back Jack Berry was sin-binned for venturing offside.

But as they had in the opening 10 minutes, Bourne pulled together and their defence - although desperate at times - remained resolute.

The final minutes of the game were spent in Bourne's 22 with possession favouring the hosts.

When Bourne eventually got their hands on it again, with time up on the clock, Dixon ended proceedings with a clearance kick well into touch.

Player-coach Brown said: “The final result was a good one.

"For big parts of the game we were very good but we have high standards and if we’re honest with ourselves we know we could have been better in the middle 40 minutes.

"Against better sides we need to be at our best for as much of the game as possible”.

Captain Dixon agreed: “Long away games can be difficult and our preparation didn’t help.

"We’ve put in a good shift but we could have done better and probably left points out there.

"There’s no doubt we have plenty of talent and when we play well we’re good enough to take on the best in the league but we need to fire from the start and maintain that tempo for the full 80.”

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