By Stuart Battersby
26 Points in seven glorious minutes finishes Bournville
Sandbach welcomed old friends Bournville to Bradwall Road on Saturday and delivered a ruthless display to finish the game with a flourish and condemn the visitors to relegation. The Bournville team, lead onto the pitch by Sandbach ‘Old Boy’ Richard Murray, have had a difficult season with a string of injury and availability problems but they battled for 74 of the 80 minute game before the final swarming onslaught from the home attack.
Bournville opened the game brightly and looked in charge for the first 30 minutes, with the forwards playing particularly well. It was however Sandbach took the first points on 9 minutes with a simple penalty goal for Benny Elliot; the visitor’s defence adjudged offside at the breakdown. Bournville finally got reward for their efforts with a converted try on 30 minutes as their forwards recycled and drove over from a maul.
Up until that score Sandbach seemed to be rushing everything and almost trying too hard. With the shock of the Bournville score to clear the heads however, Sandbach started to build their game with a bit more patience and after four good phases, Fullback Sam Morris stepped into the line, cut inside his defender and scored near the posts. By this stage it was becoming clear that the visitor’s forwards were tiring and it didn’t take long for the Sandbach passing game to exploit a gap in the defence for Forbes Edwards to step through and add to his impressive total for the season. Elliot converted.
Half Time: Sandbach 17 v 7 Bournville
With ten minutes rest, Bournville started the second period with plenty of vigour, but once again their enthusiasm gave away another penalty for offside and Elliot took the points. Bournville kept coming back though and showed plenty of spirit that denies their league position. They scored two more tries in the half (one on 11 minutes and the second on 30), both out wide and good backs tries. Both were unconverted.
Unfortunately for Bournville, on 13 minutes, their frustrations boiled over and a punch was thrown, right in front of the referee. An immediate Red Card saw the visitors lose their most experienced forward and give Elliot his chance for a third penalty.
On 16 minutes Sandbach scored the try of the game. Receiving a kick off after Elliot’s third successful penalty kick, skipper Will Stockdale spun from the tackle and charged up to halfway. A perfectly timed pass to Andrew Nash, who was at his attacking best today, saw him break for the line only to be brought down 15 metres out. With support arriving in numbers, the ball was quickly recycled and scrum half Nick Allsop didn’t need a second invitation to dart through a gap and score under the posts. Elliot converted.
Sandbach now started to bring on their subs bench and it probably took another 15 minutes before the team settled again but when it did ………………………. WOW!!!
The first of four tries in 6 minutes came as the ball was recycled from a ruck and out to Tom Doubleday who was making his first appearance for 6 weeks. Dubby delayed a short pass to Nash on the burst; Nashy was unstoppable from 15 metres. The next try in the quartet was from Prop Gareth Caen, who once again had a tremendous game. From a tap penalty Allsop broke from his own half, Leech took the game on before the ball was recycled to Dan Stubbs, who made some fantastic charging runs today. Stubby passed wide to Nash who in turn flipped the ball back inside to Caen to run round and score under the posts. Try number three of the salvo came from Allsop, who went over in the corner but cleverly didn’t ground the ball and scampered across to touch down under the posts before the defence realised his deception. The final try came after a sublime break by Doubleday, another trademark lightning recycle and out to Edwards, on the burst, to score in the corner. Elliot missed his only kick of the game.
The result unfortunately condemned Bournville to relegation, but they are a well-built club and we expect them to bounce back very quickly.
Next week Sandbach travel to Bromsgrove and will be looking to avenge a one point defeat at the hands of some very strange decision making, when the clubs met earlier at Bradwall Road.