Christmas Dust blown off
By Brian Hopkins
A long day at the office with additions to a big injury list doesn't deter a 5 point win
After the 1st half of the season came to an end, and a long Christmas break, Calne looked to set a tone to the start of 2018 with an empathic win.
Conditions were not great for either team with a strong wind and bitter cold, however Calne started quickly off the blocks. After only 5 minutes Calne found themselves camped in the Bassett half testing the defence. A couple of opportunities went awry but a promising set of runs gave Calne confidence and a well drilled lineout saw hooker David Evans walk over for try 1. Converted by Liam Kearney
Further good running by the Calne backs exposed a few holes after the forwards gave a good platform. Brian Hopkins and Chris Addinell combining well to find Adam Young in space who drew and gave to the fijian mountain Massi Ifferemo in space, try 2 for Calne, conversation missed.
Confidence growing the Calne backs were looking to ship wide where possible and were rewarded once again with Mark Webber converting well in the corner.
Bassett to there credit were not out of the match, far from it and gave constant pressure all round the pitch. Little breaks kept coming and last ditch tackling kept the score at bay.
However tides were changing, an injury to try scorer David Evans, 10 Brian Hopkins came off with an injury, and tight head Shane Martin McCafferty all in quick succession caused a few problems and Bassett in the process capitalised on this. A well worked move from the scrum saw the number 8 draw the tacklers and allow Bassett to offload through the hands for a try, converted.
As if the changes and injuries to the team hadn't been enough, a sickening clash of heads saw Mark Webber and a Basset forward both taken from the field, luckily with no serious injury for both. Calne now with 4 injured players, yet still Rhys Taylor, Adam Young combined brilliantly in the attack and a defty offload by Adam allowed Marcus Turner to go over the whitewash. Bonus Point Calne, Half time 24-7
The second half saw a rejuvinated Bassett. A quick try from early in the second gave them confidence. Using the wind and slope to a great advantage they pinned and calmed Calne for long periods. Securing quick ball, and with Calne struggling to get to grips of the half, Bassett burst over to put the last 10 minutes into a stale mate 24-24 and a bonus point for the home team.
Time for charachter and grit to prevail and after absorbing Bassetts continualled attacks, a strong defence in the backs allowed winger Rhys Davies to claim a bobbling ball in space and set Rhys Taylor free in space for a 60 meter sprint to the posts, converted and renewed to a winning margin.
Back on top of the game Calne saw out the final minutes in the Bassett half and were rewarded a penalty in front of goal to push Bassett out of the losing bonus point place.
A hard game, a determined effort and some charachter building allowed Calne to brush the dust off. All credit to a strong and hungry Bassett team who pushed the league leaders for long periods of the match.
Calne look to next week, hoping the injuries are all recoverable and return to their fortress to welcome Colerne RFC.