When Bourne have the opportunity of playing Deepings again, they would do well to remember one of the most familiar pieces of advice given in sport.
“Play the game and not the occasion.”
Three damaging penalties at Milking Nook Drove effectively presented a derby double to Deepings this season on a plate, despite the efforts of scrum-half Harley Giullari’s right boot.
The home side were without number eight George Lindley and, more significantly, Will Legge who was a last-minute withdrawal through illness.
But the visitors could argue that they had the greater impairment as Deepings travelled to Bourne without second row men Jack Rogers and Andy Cuthbertson, prop Dan O’Connell and centres Dan Young and Dan Hainsworth.
In heavy conditions, handling proved a problem for Bourne from the outset when a hopeful move from a Deepings lineout came to nothing after skipper Tom Dixon dropped a pass from Giullari.
Deepings were then forced into an early change when ex-Spalding hooker Charlie Seconde came on for the injured Dom Peacock which seemed to lift the visitors who threatened to score with a rolling maul five metres from the home side’s try line.
But Bourne held out until the 23rd minute when another rolling maul by the Green Machine was finished off by second row tight-head prop James Clarke.
Chris Owen missed the conversion attempt as the wind threatened to take its hold on proceedings just before Bourne’s lack of discipline started to show.
Bradley Hiscocks was the first player to see yellow for a flailing arm in a scrum, but instead of Deepings capitalising, Giullari had a chance to bring his side to within two points with a penalty.
The wind took it wide of the posts but a misjudgement by ex-Deepings skipper Gareth Silverwood almost let centre Sam Thornburn in to score.
Owen missed a chance to extend Deepings’ lead with his first penalty attempt and, with Hiscocks back on the field, Thornburn was a stray pass away from giving his side a chance for a try in the corner.
However, Giullari kept his cool to slot over a penalty at half-time just moments after the referee called Deepings skipper Guy Cunningham and his opposite number Dixon over in a plea to “calm things down” as derby-day tempers threatened to spill over.
In the second half, Green Machine coach Tim Edwards brought winger Luke Whitby on for the hard-working Kelvin Squires as Deepings looked to put the squeeze on Bourne.
But instead, flanker John Hume went on a threatening run for the home side before being tackled.
Harry Thornburn was sin-binned for dissent but Giullari made amends with a 35-metre penalty that gave his side an advantage to hold onto.
A spate of substitutions and turnovers left the 70-strong group of spectators wandering if or when a decisive moment would come.
However, 12 minutes from time, an unconverted try in the corner by Owen put Deepings into a lead they never looked like losing due to their opponents’ inability to carve out an opening for a try.
Jason Goodyear’s late yellow-card for dissent enraged Bourne coaches John Forbes and Nigel Lindley as a match they would have dearly loved to have won slipped through their side’s fingers.
Wood, Appleby, Forbes, Douglas, Hiscocks, Goodyear, Hume, Faversham, Giullari, T Dixon, A Dixon, Croker, S Thornburn, Jordan-Boddey, Xipu. Subs: H Thornburn, Wren, Oglesbee, Wilcox.
Green, Peacock, Silverwood, Bradley, Clarke, Coupland, Harrison, Trotman, Charity, Cunningham, Squires, Pound, Day, Owen, Morton. Subs: Harding, Clint Bell, Clayton Bell, Seconde, Whitby.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Lance Charity kept Deepings composed, doing the simple things well like passing and tackling.Charity’s opposite number for Bourne, Harley Giullari who kicked all six points for his side, deserved a better result.