First Team win at Bourneville
By Stuart Battersby
Scrappy but a win's a win.
Sandbach returned to winning ways with hard fought; if rather scrappy encounter, at Bournville’s wide open Birmingham University ground. All the points were scored in the first half with the second forty being a rather frustrating affair, with neither side able to find the precision necessary to trouble the score board again.
Sandbach came flying out of the blocks and soon had the home side on the back foot, with a series of strong drives from their forwards and on four minutes from one such carry, wing forward Pete Spring broke clear to score under the posts. Benny Elliot added the extras but Bourneville fought back and from a sweeping move, Sandbach’s former wing, Rich Murray squeezed home in the corner to put the 'Chocolate Men', just two points behind after 16 minutes.
Sandbach replied virtually from the next play, when a pre-planned move created the space for winger Jack Leech to out flank the home side, with Elliot once again adding the extras. From then on mistakes started to creep into the game and as Sandbach once more failed to deal with long balls kicked deep into their half and they suffered the consequences. After a series of forward drives Bourneville No 8 Luke Mills forced his way over from short range.
Sandbach once more bounced immediately back and minutes later it was that man Leech again sprinting in when he spotted a mismatch in the centre of the field, to arch round a couple of struggling front row forwards and dot down under the posts. Elliot completed the scoring with the conversion five minutes before the end of the half and with it much of the flow and pace of the game seemed to disappear.
Half Time: Bourneville 12 v 21 Sandbach
Sandbach elected to rest big second row man Matt Jackson and Pete Spring at half time, and with those replacements much of drive and forward momentum disappeared from the visitors' game. Sandbach did have opportunities to get that elusive bonus point try notably with second row Chris Davenport bursting half the length of the field but failing to find sufficient support, but failed to get the extra score. Later on, Bourneville, who certainly looked a lot better than their current league position, mounted a series of attacks that at time had the 'Bach .defence rocking. In reality, however, the game had rather fizzled out by then.
Handling errors and injuries on both sides seemed to disrupt the pattern of play and a late yellow card for Bourneville effectively put pay to any lingering hopes they had of salvaging something from the game. By and large Sandbach will be happy with the win and will take next week’s break to recover from a few recent bruising encounters and work on a number of technical areas, most notably a rather misfiring lineout and being more clinical in their finishing.
Sandbach 1st Team have a rest week next Saturday, but the 2nd Team have an exciting Cup encounter against Sale FC at Bradwall Road. Kick Off 2.15pm.
Director of Rugby