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Maudsley's men now have as many wins as several of the sides above them

Bourne notched up their fourth win of the Midlands 3 East (South) season when they dug out a 25-18 victory against 10th-placed Biggleswade at the weekend.

Still sitting at the bottom of the table, Bourne might consider themselves unlucky as they have had as many wins as the bottom five teams and in fact twice as many as Rushden who sit one place above them.

As they have a number of times lately Bourne started slowly and conceded inside the first five minutes.

Match action from Bourne's victory over Biggleswade. Photo: Alan Hancock (6479585)
Match action from Bourne's victory over Biggleswade. Photo: Alan Hancock (6479585)

Struggling defensively Bourne failed to get organised from the start and Biggleswade quickly built momentum.

Missed tackles by Bourne allowed Biggleswade to make yards with ease and, amidst the disarray, the hosts eventually gave away a penalty.

Sensing an opportunity Biggleswade took the penalty quickly and crossed in the corner as Bourne retreated, the only silver lining being that the try wasn't converted.

A lapse in concentration from the restart meant Biggleswade quickly took possession back and it wasn't long before they added extra points.

Still struggling to front up in defence Bourne were scrappy and eventually gave away another penalty inside their own 22.

Bourne finally built some rhythm with the ball in hand and it was them that struck next.

Turning the pressure onto their guests they earned their own penalty which centre Sam Evison converted with ease indicating Bourne might have settled their early nerves.

But they switched off again and soon paid the price. More defensive errors allowed Biggleswade too much space and Bourne found themselves constantly scrambling to stem their opponents numerous attacks. One error too many proved costly as Biggleswade crossed once again and extended their lead.

With the conversion missed, Bourne were now 3-13 behind as half-time approached.

Match action from Bourne's victory over Biggleswade. Photo: Alan Hancock (6479593)
Match action from Bourne's victory over Biggleswade. Photo: Alan Hancock (6479593)

Conscious that the game was slipping away from them Bourne calmed themselves down and enjoyed their best share of possession in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

A promising Bourne attack ended prematurely with the intervention of the Biggleswade winger whose approach was adjudged to have been illegal and resulted in a yellow card.

Having worked their way upfield Bourne were awarded a scrum and a well run move provided them with a boost on the verge of half-time.

Number eight Adam Binns broke from the scrum and fed fly-half Dave Maudsey. As Binns rounded Maudsley on a decoy run, the player-coach fed the ball inside to openside flanker Sion Williams who headed to the try line untouched for his first Bourne try.

With Evison adding the kick Bourne were just three points behind and looking forward to a second half with a strong wind behind them.

Despite their late success in the first half Bourne were clearly pleased to get to the interval and at the start of the second half it appeared they had used the break to regroup effectively.

An erratic wind limited the Bourne backs potential to attack wide but it did give them the chance to use a number of decent kicks pinning Biggleswade deep inside their own half.

Bourne had a difficult afternoon at the lineout and struggled to build a platform there, often coughing the ball up and inviting Biggleswade back into the game.

But the Bourne pack grew in the second half and started to dominate open play and impose themselves at the scrum.

Match action from Bourne's victory over Biggleswade. Photo: Alan Hancock (6479622)
Match action from Bourne's victory over Biggleswade. Photo: Alan Hancock (6479622)

With all the territory and the majority of the possession Bourne eventually wore their guests down.

Some smart recycling and several changes of direction in the Bourne attack kept the Biggleswade defence guessing and Harry Thornburn, at scrum-half for the afternoon, linked nicely with Binns who ran a clever line against the grain to put Bourne in front.

Evison couldn't add the conversion but Bourne were looking more and more comfortable.

The second 40 minutes saw three yellow cards - the first of which went to Bourne outside centre Josh Lynch.

Although his initial hit appeared legitimate Lynch's opposite man fought to get to ground dropping through Lynch's arms as he did so.

Lynch was rightly penalised for his mistake but to everyone's surprise he was also sin-binned giving Biggleswade the numerical advantage and a degree of hope.

Despite being down a man it was Bourne that added another try in almost identical circumstances to their effort just minutes before.

Binns turned provider as he popped the ball to full-back Jack Berry whose sublime line allowed him to cross under the posts untroubled. Evison added the extras and Bourne led by a converted try.

Biggleswade weren’t giving up and under difficult circumstances they grew back into the game utilising some decent forwards to carry hard.

Despite suffering a yellow card themselves the visitors worked hard and for a long time the game appeared to be in the balance.

Biggleswade's hard work was matched by the Bourne forwards who found their defensive structure in the second half.

Match action from Bourne's victory over Biggleswade. Photo: Alan Hancock (6479599)
Match action from Bourne's victory over Biggleswade. Photo: Alan Hancock (6479599)

Their better defence put pressure on Biggleswade and a sharp turnover by Thornburn allowed Evison to stretch the lead further with a timely penalty. Heading into the final quarter 10 points ahead Bourne looked to be closing the game out.

Bourne flanker Dan Smith, returning after a long injury lay-off, was unlucky to be the next recipient of a yellow card and the hosts were back to 14 men for the dying minutes of the game.

With some frantic defence Bourne seemed to have done enough as the game drew on but an unusual amount of added time stretched the match far longer than they would have liked.

With Smith's period in the sin-bin appearing to be up Bourne were readying to return to the full 15, but he was instructed to remain off the pitch as his 10 minutes finished within the added time.

Having watched their hosts soak up so much pressure in the final minutes the news that Bourne would remain at a numerical disadvantage seemed to inspire Biggleswade who found themselves with a scrum at the last play of the game.

With the ball out quickly Biggleswade shipped the ball wide which seemed to catch the Bourne defence off guard.

Although they seemed to recover the Bourne cover defence was poor and Biggleswade crossed in the corner to get within seven points.

The missed conversion was irrelevant as this final score took the visitors close enough for a losing bonus point which left player-coach Maudsley in mixed spirits.

He said: “The lads were disappointed to some extent and, despite the win, they should be - we pride ourselves on performance above anything and we weren't at our best. Having said that a win is a win.

“We're at the highest level the club's ever been and we need to celebrate moments like this. If you look at the league table, in terms of games won, we're as good as or better than a number of other teams. We need to push on from here and make sure we finish the season strongly.

“We trained harder this week with better numbers and more intensity - if we build on that the rest will fall into place".

Bourne's man of the match Williams paid credit to his forward counterparts.

He said: “The pack has been going well lately. We were particularly good in the first 40 minutes last week and the second half this week so the next step is to put together an 80 minute performance.

“Our backs are up against better backlines this season and it's vital that we do our bit to give them a platform and then support them around the park.”

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