MIDLANDS FOUR EAST (SOUTH): Deepings 35 (Tries: Cunningham, Harrison (two), Elliot, Broome; Owen kicked eight points) Bourne 23 (Tries: Thornburn, Binns; Evison kicked 13 points).
Deepings and Bourne produced a 58-point thriller in an electric A15 derby at Linchfield Road, but it was the home side who took away the bragging rights.
The Green Machine scored four tries in the last 25 minutes to break Bourne’s hearts as they suffered similar heartbreak to their Midlands Junior Vase exit at home to Bedford side Queens last year.
On that occasion a kick towards touch bounced back into play, only for a Queens full back to latch onto the ball and score a try.
This though, Bourne were on the wrong end of a refereeing decision when a Jack Elliot try for Deepings was ruled good, despite the linesman signalling that the ball had gone out of play.
Deepings had taken a 13-point leader with a try by former skipper Guy Cunningham which was converted by Chris Owen who also kicked two penalties.
Two Sam Evison penalties kept Bourne within striking distance and, before half time, Harry Thornburn forced the ball over the try line after a rolling maul.
With the scores tied at 13-13 as the second half kicked off, Owen was penalised for a high tackle and with Deepings down to 14 men, Bourne vice captain Adam Binns finished off a good move to give his side the lead.
Evison converted to put Bourne seven point ahead and seemingly in the driving seat, even when Michael Harrison finished off a five-metre scrum with an uncoverted try.
But Elliot’s score to make it 23-20, and the circumstances that led up to it, completely changed the momentum of the match as Bourne’s discipline and ball handling skills deteriorated.
Deepings replacement Josh Broome latched onto a loose pass to extend the home side’s lead to eight points, Owen missing his third conversion of the day.
Evison reduced the arrears to five with a penalty, but Tom Dixon’s sin-binning for dissent was capitalised upon by the Green Machine as flanker Harrison scored Deepings’ fifth try which was converted by Owen.
After the game, Deepings coach Tim Hutton said: “Bourne came here on a bit of a run and maybe they thought it was going be easy.
“But we dug deep and when a couple of bounces went against them, they lost their control.”
Bourne player-coach Dave Maudsley said: “The linesman put his flag up (before Elliot’s try) so we stopped as the referee went to blow his whistle.
“But for some reason, the referee changed his mind and blew for a try instead.”
• Spalding suffered their eighth defeat of the season in Midlands Three East (North) after a 38-24 loss at Sleaford.
The Elephants are now just a point outside the drop zone, with the team immediately below them (Sileby Town) having a game in hand.