1st XV Match Report - Back to winning ways!
Given last weeks’ loss and the travel issues encountered for our teams over the previous few weekends it is fair to say a tough away trip to Sefton would not have been a top choice. Add in a lengthening injury list and a number of absentees and the fixt
And so it was that Captain Neil Bright led the team out and from the off it was evident that there was a spring in the Bowdon step that had been missing the previous week. The initial signs were good as the more powerful looking Bowdon side started well and pressured Sefton into a series of mistakes. The visitors capitalised when nr10. Jonny Edwards stepped the line and made a swift half break, offloading to inside centre Jamie Anthony who in turn broke the covering tackle and sent the ball down the line via outside centre Andre Hechter to draw in the last defenders before sliding a pass to his right to set up wing Thomas Oben for an opening try in the corner. Unfortunately the wind in West Derby would prove to be a nightmare for Edwards all afternoon as he would fail to land a conversion in five attempts. 5-0 Bowdon!
Sefton came back almost immediately with a line break of their own only to knock on a metre from the try line. With Bowdon continuing to pressure both with and without the ball it was against the general run of play when Sefton equalled the scoreline, an unconverted try of their own coming after a quick lineout from a Bowdon clearance kick.
Despite the setback Bowdon continued to play their style of attacking rugby with some big performances from Mitch McGrath, Jamie Anthony and Jonny Edwards. The rewards came when a lineout steal by skipper Neil Bright and subsequent break from Liam Connolly ended with McGrath barging through a crowd of Sefton players to bring the score line to 10-5 in favour of the visitors. The pressure was on and Sefton were given no respite as almost immediately from the restart Neil Bright secured the ball, fed hooker Jamie Frost who in turn made a telling break and offloaded to Jonny Edwards who slickly stepped his opposite number to finish off the score for the third Bowdon try.
After this flurry of activity things quietened down for a few minutes which allowed Sefton to catch their breath and gather their composure. The travelling Bowdon fans were in fine voice whilst the Sefton supporters were understandably getting aggravated at the sight of their team being bossed about the park.
Despite dominating the game Bowdon allowed Sefton to bring the score back to 15-15 but despite this at no point did they seem in danger of actually going behind. The boys had plenty in the tank and finally made sure of putting the game to bed when another strong and powerful run by McGrath led to the bonus point try and was quickly followed by a superb break and interplay in the backs putting Liam Connolly in to pretty much finish the game off at 25-15.
In the dying minutes of the game a Sefton 5m scrum led to a period of close in defence as Sefton probed for a losing bonus point. As the clock ran down but with the line holding firm for phase after phase it looked like a penalty to Bowdon would end the game but the infringement was missed and Sefton in a last gasp attempt flung the ball wide and, in the smallest amount of space, squeezed through for the touch down. The game finished 25-20. Close on the scoreboard but in reality a comfortable bonus point win.
Two wins from three games and a huge positive for the back-room staff and players. Club captain Neil Bright had this to say: “Good to get the win, even better to get the bonus point but we should of scored more in all honesty and it is good to turn things around after last week. There were some good performances out there today but we can still look to improve. The seasons only just begun, our aim is to continue building”
The team selected to travel to Sefton was as follows:
1. Josh Rimmer
2. Dave Barker
3. Lewis Kitchiner
4. Neil Bright (C)
5. Craig Anthony
6. Craig Mason
7. Jamie Frost
8. Will Harrison
9. Chris Calvert
10. Jonny Edwards
11. Mitch McGrath
12. Jamie Anthony
13. Andre Hechter
14. Thomas Oben
15. Liam Connolly (VC)
16. Liam Rice
17. Chris Fletcher
Prop Richard Bibby set to be out for a further 2 weeks with a calf injury but is remaining positive throughout treatment. Dan Brown is still suffering with his hamstring from the first game but with progressive treatment is showing signs of getting better and we are looking forward to getting him back soon. Scrum half James Dennis' treatment is progressing well following a dislocation to his knee and he should only be 2 weeks off now which is good news. Winger Craig Monaghan remains out for another few weeks and is still receiving treatment following dislocation and muscle damage to his left shoulder but we expect Mark Well to be back available for selection shortly now that his nose is straight (!!). We are also hearing news that Shay McIntosh is making good progress in his recovery from knee injury sustained at New Brighton last season although his return is still a few months off yet.
Match Report provided by Craig Monaghan