MATCH REACTION: Players ‘dug deep’ for win, says Hutton, but Maudsley bemoans game-changing decision
Deepings and Bourne produced a 58-point thriller in an electric A15 derby at Linchfield Road, but it was the home side who took away the bragging rights.
Green Machine coach Tim Hutton claimed that Bourne had underestimated his team as they came back from 20-13 down to win an enthralling advertisement for South Kesteven rugby.
The Green Machine had stormed into a 13-point lead in the first half before 20 points from the visitors, without reply, tested Deepings’ resolve.
Hutton said: “We’ve been on a run where we drew at home to Bedford Swifts and had a couple of wins.
“Last weekend, we beat St Ives in the Hunts and Peterborough Cup but we also knew that Bourne had been on a run of seven wins in a row before coming to play us.
“After we went 13-0 up, Bourne got themselves into the lead at 20-13 in the second half.
“But when they thought that they might cruise it, we dug deep and when a couple of bounces went against them, Bourne lost control of the game.”
Captain Lance Charity said: “The lads just stuck together and we got the three tries we needed to go from 20-13 down to 28-20 up.
“With the Elliot try, the Bourne players thought the ball went into touch.
“But when the referee ruled that it hadn’t, their heads dropped and we took momentum from that by managing to keep things going and work for each other.”
Deepings opening try scorer Guy Cunnigham said: “We had the momentum in the first half, then Bourne had 15 minutes of good pressure on us and there was one point in the match when they had a penalty that hit the post before we ran the length of the pitch to score.
“That seemed to turn the game back in our favour and in the last ten minutes, we were able to stretch the scoreline out.
“But it doesn’t reflect how close the game was, even though I thought that we gained the initiative and momentum of the game eventually.”
Meanwhile, Bourne player-coach Dave Maudsley was left to reflect on a baffling refereeing decision after his side’s six-match unbeaten run in league and cup came to an end at Deepings.
But Maudsley’s men will have to regroup quickly ahead of unbeaten league leaders St Neots’ trip to Milking Nook Drove on Saturday.
Speaking about Jack Elliot’s controversial try, Maudsley said: “The touch judge had his flag up so we stopped and the referee went to blow his whistle.
“But for some reason, the referee changed his mind and blew for a try.
“It wasn’t the touch judge’s fault that we didn’t know what had happened and I don’t know what the referee was trying to do.
“But we can’t blame him for losing our control, even though the whole game seemed to turn on the referee’s decision.”
Winger Jack Lagdon said: “At the start, we were a little bit shaky but we finally got into the game and dominated for most of it.
“It was a very, very good contest which came down to a refereeing decision that went Deeping’s way.
“But at the end of the day, we’ve got a positive feeling from it and we’ve always got the game against Deepings at home (in March 2018) where we can get the win.”
Bourne lock George Lindley said: “We feel hard done by because of a few decisions that didn’t go our way.
“But our discipline was lacking and Deepings managed to score a couple of good tries off a couple of our handling errors.
“We always seem to have blips in our season and this is just one of those.
“For us, it’s just about overcoming it and I reckon that it won’t affect us at all.”