Nuns 53 Bournville 40
By Huw Thomas
NUNS CLIMB MOUNTAIN TO BEAT BOURNVILLE
Nuns 53 Bournville 40.
NUNS CLIMB MOUNTAIN TO BEAT BOURNVILLE.
Despite a break from Midlands Premier action, the Nuns team selection continued to be effected by injuries. Ryan Leake, Sam Wallis and Arron Turner were all missing and in a reshuffled pack Dale Bowyer, Adie Hall and Arron Skyrme were in the starting XV. Jake Arms and Theo Knight joined Ben Holmes on the bench.
In ideal conditions for open rugby the game kicked off with the visitors having the benefit of the breeze. It didn’t take long for the first score. On 4 minutes Bournville’s winger Jordy Hop jinxed his way through a mesmerised Nuns defence and scrum half Rhys Harrhy converted. From the restart the Nuns went on the attack and won a penalty which Ben Cooper successfully kicked. Good defensive tackling kept the visitors in their own 22 and when the Nuns won a penalty they opted for a kick to the corner. Following the lineout the ball was recycled and hooker Dale Bowyer scored under the posts. Cooper added the conversion and the Nuns led 10- 7 after just 8 minutes. With strong tackling going in from both sides, Nuns’ Adie Hall was harshly red carded for a high tackle. Harrhy kicked the resultant penalty and the Nuns were down to 14 men for the remaining 68 minutes. Seemingly undeterred by the sending off the Nuns continued to attack. Taking advantage of a penalty award Moses Liwaliwa shrugged off tacklers to put Jackson Hughes in for a converted try and the Nuns were back in front. Both sides continued to play open rugby as tacklers were brushed aside. After a charged down clearance kick Bournville won a penalty and narrowed the deficit to 4 points. On 24 minutes the visitors broke out of their half and after a mazey run by Hop, full back Mark Coulson turned the Nuns defence inside out to score a converted try and put the visitors back into the lead 20-17. Only a forward pass denied the Nuns their third try but with Sam Greening and Arron Skyrme having to leave the field injured, the Nuns came under pressure. Harrhy kicked his third penalty and the visitors had a 6 point lead. Back came the Nuns and Liwaliwa held off would be tacklers and scored a converted try. With half time approaching a loose pass was intercepted by Ethan Walker for Bournville who raced 50 metres to score under the posts. Harrhy added the extras and the visitors led 30-24 at the interval.
A breathtaking first half of 6 converted tries, 4 penalties and a sending off – no shortage of action and a second half to follow.
Could the Nuns keep up the pace despite being a man short? They started as though they could. Within 5 minutes No. 8 Leigh Thompson got over for a try and with the Cooper conversion the Nuns were back in front. It was Bournville’s turn to attack and the Nuns were off side in front of their posts. Harrhy kicked the goal and the visitors led by 2 points. A spell of concentrated pressure by Bournville paid off when Walker grabbed his second try and with the conversion the visitors had an extended their lead to 9 points. No signs of the Nuns flagging as they set about getting back into the game. With 20 minutes to go the Nuns opted for a penalty kick to the corner. From the lineout and rolling maul, with the aid of a few backs, Liwaliwa was forced over and although Cooper missed the conversion the home supporters roared their support for a final effort.
The Nuns didn’t disappoint. For the next 10 minutes the Nuns restricted Bournville to their own half. Under pressure the visitors conceded a penalty and a yellow card for lock Ben Shimwell. Cooper kicked the goal and the Nuns trailed by 1 point. Momentum was now with the Nuns and from a glorious through kick by replacement Theo Knight, winger Nemani Rayabo gathered and shrugged off tacklers to score under the posts a converted try. Bournville were now a spent force. With their tails up the Nuns continued to apply pressure and Thompson added his second try and with the conversion the Nuns closed out a memorable win.
An outstanding, resilient performance by the Nuns who despite adversity never gave up. Not a game for the connoisseur, but for sheer entertainment value this game had it all. With this win the Nuns move up to seventh in Midlands Premier.
James Redman, Dale Bowyer, Sam Greening, Wills Messum, Adie Hall, Arron Skyrme, Callum Grant-Smith, Leigh Thompson, Tom Smitham, Ben Cooper, Nemani Rayabo, Moses Liwaliwa, Elliott Brown (Capt), Sion Cowdy, Jackson Hughes.
Bench:Ben Holmes, Jake Arms and Theo Knight.
Tries: Bowyer, Thompson 2, Liwaliwa 2, Rayabo, Hughes
Cons: Copper 6
Pens: Cooper 2
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