BOURNE Rugby Club’s youth teams are leading the way with the Under 14, 15 and 16 teams all winning their pool groups to qualify for the MLD Shield semi-finals
The U14 side qualified earlier this month and this week the U15s and U16s joined them in the next round. The U15s beat a powerful Market Rasen side 12-5 to top thier group and the U16s returned from Chesterfield with an impressive 17-0 victory.
It is the first year that players currently in the U15 side have reached the semi-finals.
Bourne reshaped their pack to counter Rasen’s heavier front row and although this gave Bourne additional weight it did disrupt the fluency of their attacking moves. But despite this, Bourne played with a level of commitment and passion that nullified the threat of the Rasen pack.
Bourne took the lead after a scintillating passage of play in the first five minutes with Millar putting the ball down after almost every Bourne player had touched the ball during the move. In windy conditions, the conversion was missed.
From the restart, Bourne took the game to Rasen and a superb break from Ashwell on the left wing put Bourne 10 points in front. McKenzie’s conversion made it 12-0.
Bourne were then stifled by a string of penalties, one of which led to the only Rasen try of the match.
In the second half the physicality of the game went up a notch and the aggression from both teams kept the referee busy but ultimately Bourne’s game plan meant they were able to contain their opposition.
Bourne’s U16s qualified on the back of an outstanding first half performance at Chesterfield.
They drove the ball upfield from the off with a devastating display of attacking rugby to go 17-0 up before the interval.
Bourne’s forwards forced their opposition back and the backs broke through tackles to put early pressure on their hosts. A seventh minute penalty from Matty Newman opened Bourne’s account and they kept up the pressure.
From a scrum inside the opposition 22, a well rehearsed scissor move by the backs allowed Jones through to score under the posts. Newman obliged with the conversion.
Such was the pressure applied by Bourne, that Chesterfield rarely ventured into the Bourne territory and it wasn’t long before the Bourne three-quarters exploited the home team’s weaknesses.
Jones was next to score, running through two tackles to carry the ball over the line for Bourne’s second try.
Newman again converted to give Bourne a 17 point lead at half time.
In the second half, Chesterfield came back with force. When Bourne did regain possession they all too quickly got turned over and started to give away careless penalties. Even though Bourne did not add to their tally, they managed to keep a clean sheet.
This was Bourne’s best performance of the season with outstanding attack play in the first half.
Bourne U15: L Davies, P McKenzie, J Smith, T Bailey, J Nassau, S Clark, S Blockley, C Ashwell, T Hoosen, H Jervis, T Mutisi, H Bower, C Legge, G Wynne, T Millar, O Rushen, J Wilson, L Nicholson, N Denial, S Robinson.