Opportunity lost as Bourne coaches rue cruel Vase loss to Queens

GET RID OF IT: Full back Xanti Xipu clears his lines for Bourne.  Photo by Alan Hancock.
GET RID OF IT: Full back Xanti Xipu clears his lines for Bourne. Photo by Alan Hancock.
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MIDLANDS JUNIOR VASE QUARTER FINAL: Bourne 17 Queens 19

Bourne joint coaches John Forbes and Nigel Lindley were in no mood for hard luck stories despite the cruel twist of fate that sent them out of the Midlands Junior Vase.

Tom Dixon goes to ground, watched by Xanti Xipu and Harley Giullari.  Photo by Alan Hancock.

Tom Dixon goes to ground, watched by Xanti Xipu and Harley Giullari. Photo by Alan Hancock.

Skipper Tom Dixon was acting according to instructions by kicking into touch with Bourne leading 17-12 just 18 minutes from time.

But neither Dixon nor the coaches could have foreseen Queens full back Sam Morris anticipating the bounce ahead of Bourne replacement winger J.J. Roberts to run it back 20 metres and score what was to prove the winning try, converted by the visitors’ player-coach Ashley Tapper.

Forbes said: “We controlled the breakdown a lot better and it was a complete bounce of the ball that beat us.

“But we didn’t make the most of our chances in the second half and it ultimately cost us the game.

It’s up to the players now to keep this level of performance up because they’ve got to want to do it and have to believe in themselves

Bourne joint coach Nigel Lindley

“We played well and Queens didn’t boss the place as they did the last time we played them (a 53-10 away defeat for Bourne on December 5), even though they defended well.

“In every game, there are bits we could improve on but our guys stood up to Queens well and we had good strength in depth to cover the missing Drew Castle and Ben Keast.

“Drew pulling out caused us to change things but we made Queens look out of sorts as they were trying to get the ball back on the floor, costing them directly in penalties to us.

“This is the furthest we’ve been in this competition and we could have possibly been good enough for one more round.”

Bourne man-of-the-match Sam Thornburn at the centre of another attack.  Photo by Alan Hancock.

Bourne man-of-the-match Sam Thornburn at the centre of another attack. Photo by Alan Hancock.

Eye-catching displays by centre Sam Thornburn, scrum half Harley Giullari and winger Josh Jordan-Boddey, scorer of two of Bourne’s three tries, gave the coaches plenty to be optimistic ahead of a return to Midlands Four East (South) action at Brackley on Saturday.

Jordan-Boddey said: “It’s frustrating to go out of the Vase because we were trying to win and we needed a win.

“Playing with the wind in our faces was an issue in the second half and it was a challenge to defend against Queens.

“We were so close and we played so well, but there was a frustrating atmosphere in the dressing room afterwards because of the couple of opportunities we had but didn’t take.

“The fitness and team spirit is good, but now we’ve just hot to work on those finishing bursts in matches.”

After the trip to Brackley, a side Bourne beat 21-0 in early November for their only league win of the season so far, lies the small matter of a South Kesteven derby with Deepings at Milking Nook Drove.

Lindley said: “It was very disappointing to lose like that, but it was very pleasing that we ran Queens so close.

“Coming into the game, we expected to win and there was no thought of containment, something we do all the time and that’s the way we always work.

“The players believed they could win the game and even when we went 7-0 down, we said ‘we’re going to get those points back’”.

“We were much better in and around the contact zone against Queens and we did what we were meant to do.

“The players have been working on contact and what their jobs are when it comes to tackling, we’re starting to see the results of that work now, even though there’s still a lot of work to do.

“There’s a good team spirit here which was shown by some good tackling, more aggression and, given the wind, our game wasn’t destroyed.

“It’s up to the players now to keep this level of performance up because they’ve got to want to do it and have to believe in themselves.

“I still think we’re improving and if we put the wrongs right, we’ll beat these teams (like Deepings).”

Bourne bounced out of the Vase by Queens