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Maudsley's men chalk up 50 points in convincing victory

Bourne could be forgiven for thinking luck is against them in their bid to survive in Midlands 3 East (South).

They cruised to a 50-14 win at the weekend entertaining Bedford Queens, two places above them, only to find out that Birstall, two places below them, had also had a win.

The season looks to be going to the wire over the final fortnight but Bourne's safety will be guaranteed if they win when they travel to Rushden and Higham next Saturday.

Bourne cruised to a 50-14 win at the weekend against Bedford Queens. Photo: Alan Hancock (8163126)
Bourne cruised to a 50-14 win at the weekend against Bedford Queens. Photo: Alan Hancock (8163126)

Having travelled to Queens earlier in the season with a weakened side, Bourne were some way off the mark and were looking to make amends when Queens visited Milking Nook Drove this time.

Bourne's recent form suggested they were more than capable of getting a good result but the absence of both starting props, Jake Appleby and Chris Greenwood, was a cause for concern.

To cover the absentees second row Andrew Brown moved into the front row and Iain Taylor came into the starting line-up.

Queens arrived looking fit and organised and from the start they looked like a side that had every intention of repeating the outcome of the first fixture.

With a number of big forwards Queens carried well from the kick-off and soon made yards. Their progress upfield soon turned into pressure on the Bourne defence and the guests were quick to take advantage crossing to open the scoring. With the conversion added the hosts were already 7-0 behind.

Bourne found their feet from the restart and enjoyed some possession of their own.

From a scrum in the middle of the pitch scrum-half Sam Evison did well to clear up tricky ball and quickly shifted it to centre Adam McHugh on the blindside.

McHugh had no option but to feed wing Josh Lynch outside him but Lynch, with half a yard of space on his opposite man, made light work of cutting through the defence.

From just inside the Queens' half Lynch beat a number of men before dotting down in the corner for a superb solo effort. The reliable Evison added the extras.

Bourne cruised to a 50-14 win at the weekend against Bedford Queens. Photo: Alan Hancock (8163128)
Bourne cruised to a 50-14 win at the weekend against Bedford Queens. Photo: Alan Hancock (8163128)

Buoyed by Lynch's contribution Bourne came to life and a short while later it was Rob Bentley on the other wing that finished the next try. The Bourne pack were solid at the set-piece and dynamic in open play.

After some strong carries the ball was released along the backline and, with work still to do, Bentley rounded his opposite man with ease. Evison was once again successful with the conversion.

Evison extended the lead a short while later with a penalty earned by his pack as they were far more disciplined then their opponents. At 17-7 Bourne seemed to be firmly in control.

And just minutes later Bentley added his second. Gathering a clearance kick from Queens full-back Jack Berry made good yards before throwing a long-range pass to Bentley.

Bentley cruised round the Queens defence on the halfway line and then showed fantastic agility as he side-stepped his way round the last of the scrambling defence. Evison added his third conversion and Bourne had a comfortable 24-7 lead.

Not to be outdone Lynch quickly extended the lead with his second try, albeit very much inspired by his team-mates.

Lynch finished an all-round effort with the entire Bourne side involved at some point as the forwards once again built pressure with their influence on the game.

Bourne have scored a number of impressive tries throughout the second half of the season and with perfect conditions on the afternoon they showed just how good they can be with some fantastic running and sublime handling. Evison was on target again as the half was drawing to an end.

Switching off in the final minutes of the half Bourne were disappointed to concede on the verge of half-time allowing Queens in for a simple try as they drew the home defence with a number of decoy runners before shipping the ball wide.

With Queens adding the conversion Bourne finished the half 31-14 ahead, but were disappointed to have conceded two soft tries.

Bourne cruised to a 50-14 win at the weekend against Bedford Queens. Photo: Alan Hancock (8163105)
Bourne cruised to a 50-14 win at the weekend against Bedford Queens. Photo: Alan Hancock (8163105)

Prop Brown, who had been enjoying a good half, and the try-scoring Bentley had both been forced off at the end of the first period with injuries and there was inevitably some disruption to the Bourne side.

Replacement prop Paul Mambey came on to continue his recent run of good form and wing Jamie Colangelo made his first appearance since January.

Having been so clinical in the first 40 minutes, Bourne found the second half much tougher as Queens did what they could to disrupt the home side's domination.

Back-row Adam Binns was the first to make a mistake as he was yellow-carded for a high tackle.

Bourne didn't let their numerical disadvantage affect them though and captain Tom Dixon took responsibility for getting the scoreboard ticking over again.

Continuing the cohesion of the first half a number of Bourne players were once again involved and, as the ball was quickly recycled in the Queens' 22, it was Dixon who put himself in a position to score. Evison made a rare mistake as he put the conversion wide.

As Binns returned to the field Queens attempted a fightback and, with pressure building, Bourne once again paid the price as this time Dixon was sin-binned.

With his side giving away too many penalties it was Dixon whose mistake proved too much for the referee who gave him his marching orders for a team offence.

Somehow though, against the odds, it was Bourne who scored again. Binns, shifting to number eight to cover Dixon's absence, broke from a scrum in his own half and made good ground before finding back-row partner Sion Williams who linked with fly-half Dave Maudsley heading into space.

As Maudsley then tried to find full-back Jack Berry the ball was judged to have been deliberately knocked on by a Queens hand.

With the advantage Berry sent a fortuitous kick down field and was rewarded as the ball bounced right into the hands of centre Sam Thornburn who finished with ease. Evison was back on target and Bourne were now 43-14 in front.

Once again Bourne ignored the deficit in numbers as they scored again. A superbly executed back move saw Maudsley shift the ball to Berry who then gave it back to the player-coach.

Maudsley linked with Lynch who had cut infield off his wing and Lynch made good yards. As the Bourne forwards piled forward the ball was recycled and Berry was involved again as he stood in at first receiver and sent the ball along the line to Colangelo who dived in the corner. Evison's conversion took his side to 50 points.

Bourne cruised to a 50-14 win at the weekend against Bedford Queens. Photo: Alan Hancock (8163137)
Bourne cruised to a 50-14 win at the weekend against Bedford Queens. Photo: Alan Hancock (8163137)

With Dixon still in the bin Bourne were shocked to find Berry joining him with just 15 minutes left in the game, taking them to 13 men.

The game was getting increasingly scrappy and Berry was particularly frustrated to see team-mate Harry Thornburn being punched in the face.

With the referee missing the incident Berry was overly vocal and the referee was quick to take action. With Thornburn also sidelined due to a cut received during the incident Binns had to move to hooker.

To compound their issues second row Dan Smith also had to leave the field with a recurring shoulder injury meaning that, in bizarre circumstances, coach Maudsley had no option to play utility back replacement JD Charlton in the pack.

During the final minutes of the game Queens put pressure on the home side riddled with changes.

With Charlton already in the pack Bourne had to take desperate measures to match numbers at the scrum and it was initially McHugh that was called upon before Brown, carrying a leg injury, returned to the field.

Inevitably it was from a scrum that Queens got themselves on the scoreboard again as they took advantage of their two-man advantage and disarray in the Bourne side.

Dixon returned to the field for what was expected to be the final play but, with just seconds left on the clock, Binns, having taken on the kicking duties with Berry off the field, sent the kick straight out allowing Queens one last chance with a scrum in the centre of the field.

Any hope of another try for the visitors was quickly extinguished as the Bourne centres, McHugh and Thornburn, defended solidly as they had the entire game.

Fittingly it was Thornburn who once again stole the ball from his opposite man as he had on a number of occasions. Bourne weren't taking any chances and quickly sent the ball well into touch to end the game.

The Bourne pack had once again been influential - Dixon, Binns and Thornburn led the way in open play and Brown, along with second-row Sam Harby, both had fantastic games.

In the backs the centres had good games but it was the wingers Bentley and man of the match Lynch that stole the show.

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