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Captain Dixon wants his promoted side to prove they are capable of beating sides at this level




Bourne were unable to kick-start their faltering Midlands 3 East (South) campaign after a 25-10 away defeat at Stockwood Park on Saturday.

Both skipper Tom Dixon and player-coach Dave Maudsley were disappointed with the fruitless trip to the heart of Luton which had the potential to bring Bourne their second success of the season following promotion last term.

Dixon said: "We could have, and should have, done better again.

"Stockwood are another side who aren't any better than us, but we can't keep claiming that - at some point we have to prove we're capable of beating the sides in this league."

Maudsley added: "They were another side we feel we could have beaten.

"There were at least four chances that didn't go our way and on another day these could prove vital.

"Even just one of those opportunities could have been the turning point that brought about a different outcome."

Dave Maudsley scored Bourne's try on Saturday (4960612)
Dave Maudsley scored Bourne's try on Saturday (4960612)

Getting ever closer to a full-strength squad, Bourne travelled in the hope that they might clinch their second win of the season.

The opening exchanges indicated Bourne had as good as chance as ever as they quickly shook off the long journey and got down to business.

Having thoroughly dominated the first scrum of the game the visitors enjoyed some early possession and made decent ground.

After eventually turning over the ball Stockwood had their own opportunity to string together some phases but Bourne looked ready defensively and looked comfortable repelling the hosts.

Ironically though a monstrous but seemingly legal tackle from wing Josh Lynch drew a penalty for the hosts which they converted for the opening points.

From the restart Bourne looked troubled and their early commitment to defence seemed to disappear.

The Stockwood number eight was a big and powerful runner and was given far too much opportunity to make ground.

Working their way back towards the Bourne end of the pitch it wasn't long before the visiting side were caught out and giving little resistence allowed Stockwood to cross for the first try of the game.

Under the posts once again the kick was a formality and the home side were into double figures.

Bourne upped their efforts at this point. Prop Chris Greenwood, influential at the set-piece, also started to show his prowess in open play earning his side some go-forward.

His front row counterparts Jake Appleby and Harry Thornburn were also heavily involved and Thornburn looked to have opened the scoring for Bourne.

Maudsley, in his first apperance of the season at fly half, beat his opposite man on the inside and offloaded to Thornburn who quickly covered the remaining distance - unfortunately though he crossed the line among a number of defenders and was deemed to have been held up.

Bourne maintained the pressure and Maudsley himself crossed again a short while later but was also held up.

From the ensuing scrum though Maudsley ran a move through his backline and found full-back Jack Berry running wide.

Unable to quite beat his man Berry fed the ball onto Lynch who took the ball up to the Stockwood five metre line.

Halted by the final defender Lynch was just short of scoring himself but managed to offload to Maudsley who had followed his initial pass.

Darting inside the cover defence Maudsley dotted down to put his side on the scoreboard. Scrum half Sam Evison added the extras and Bourne were in the game.

Bourne continued to put pressure on their hosts but their flow was disrupted when Greenwood picked up an injury during one of his powerful charges.

With a number of players already out of position in the scrum more change was needed - back row Keir Moore, playing in the second row, replaced Greenwood and lock Bradley Hiscocks joined the fray.

Although holding their own the Bourne set-piece did not dominate the closing stages of the half as they had done until that point.

Just 10-7 down at half-time the message from Maudsley and skipper Dixon echoed that of previous weeks - Bourne were in the game and entirely capable of leaving with a win, but once again it wasn't to be.

The Stockwood forwards put in a solid second half display and produced some effective carrying through the midfield.

Seeing the Bourne defence sucked centrally, Stockwood then shipped the ball wide and rounded the last of the Bourne defenders to cross in the corner.

Adding the conversion the home side were now 17-7 up and looked to be edging away.

But Bourne weren't ready to give up and continued to try and find their way to some points.

Berry was unlucky not to gather his own kick after chipping the oncoming defence, wing Matt Holden latched onto a Maudsley kick but became isolated and centre JD Charlton made a number of exhilerating breaks but each came to a premature end.

Thornburn was in the midst of everything and proved vital as a link between the forwards and backs.

Eventually Bourne got some reward and, having forced a penalty in the Stockwood 22, Evison slotted another three points to get within just one try.

And from the restart, with just minutes left on the clock, Bourne set about closing the gap even further.

Taking the ball into the Stockwood 22 again they seemed destined to be worthy of more points but disaster struck when recycling the ball Berry throw a speculative pass which was read by the oncoming defence who intercepted and, after a shifting the ball wide, crossed for another five points.

Following the try scorer in Berry was adjudged to have needlessly made contact after the try had been scored and was given a yellow card.

Having been awarded a penalty to restart the game Stockwood made Bourne's 14 men suffer.

Kicking to the corner the hosts won their lineout and, after some sustained momentum, they crossed once again with the kick being missed.

With the whistle going almost as soon as the restart had been taken Bourne's hopes had disappeared.

Having looked to be finishing strongly the reversal in fortunes brought about another disappointing result for a side who, albeit slowly, appear to be growing into their season.



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