Normally a drive to the vicinity of IKEA is with a heavy heart, but not today! Saturday 18th March, a month to the day since last minute upset against Gouda, BSN Juniors faced Delft away. Following the relatively long break since the last game turnout was good with 21 players available on the day and notably the return of the BSN full-back after injury. All initial signs promised a memorable day with the players warming-up in buoyant nature and the weather good. Also if the pattern of previous encounters with Delft was to be repeated a well fought and friendly match was on the cards with ultimate victory for BSN.
BSN Coach nurses groin strain after warm-up stretches
Two of these expectations were to come to fruition but following the pattern of too many games this season, the Juniors were to lose out heart-achingly in the dying seconds.
BSN huddle before the game
For the first 10 mins of play it looked like this was going to be a one-sided affair with tries from Seb C and Elliot at 5 and 9mins respectively. Both were successfully converted by Stuart giving BSN a 14 point lead.
BSN forward play initially dominated Delft
Then seemingly from nowhere Delft turned up for the game, encouraged and aided by BSN handlings errors and occasional indecision, scoring their first try at 15mins in the corner. The conversion was missed and BSN kicked-off deep in to the Delft half. Great teamwork from BSN eventually saw the ball carried over the line in the corner, feet away from the BSN supporters. To everyone’s surprise however the try was not given, having been deemed held-up by the referee.
Arthur crashes over the Delft line but the ball was deemed to have been held up by the referee and BSN were denied what was ultimately to prove vital missed points
Continued pressure by BSN failed to be converted in to points and at 25 minutes Delft scored their 2nd try, which on this occasion was successfully converted. The half time whistle blew shortly afterwards with the score line Delft 12 : 14 BSN.
BSN coaching staff lift spirits at the half time break following the disappointments of the final 10 minutes of the half
The second half started at a frenetic pace with both teams clearly believing the game could be theirs. Both sides displayed exciting offensive and defensive actions.
Williams tries to break-through – only to be hunted down by Delft players hunting in packs
The first breakthrough came from BSN at 8mins in to the half as Sandy broke away from a maul and charged through the Delft line on the halfway mark. At first it seemed likely he would be caught as the Delft defence started to swarm towards him, but showing an impressive turn of forward speed and power he just kept on going to the cheers and shouts of excitement from the supporters.
Sandy breaks away and storms through the Delft defence to score between the posts
After what seemed like a marathon (for Sandy and the supporters) he crossed the line and touched the ball down near the posts. Stuart, in his now customary manner, converted taking the score to Delft 12:21 BSN.
A few minutes later Delft disappointingly replied with their own try and the conversion narrowed the score once again to a BSN 3 point lead. From the restart however BSN were fired-up and the ball was won from the ruck and fed down the line to the BSN Captain, who jinxed ‘Phil Bennet’ style (sorry I am +50 years old Welshman) around his Delft counterpart and sprinted to the line, scoring between the posts. Stuart again secured the 2 additional points to open the lead again to 9 points after 18mins of he 2nd half played, Delft 19:28 BSN.
Jay side-steps the Delft back-line and breaks free to score and take the lead a few minutes from the end of play
At this point things were looking good for BSN but credit to Delft they did not give up and continued to work some impressive attacks with quick line speed.
At one point the ball was picked-up by the Delft right-winger, who had shown on a number of occasions he was a dangerously quick and powerful player. After running from the near centre to the right side-line he proceeded to sprint towards the BSN line to the boisterous excitement of the Delft supporters. Fortunately for BSN, Arthur had the better of him and closed him down finishing with a spectacular try saving tackle 5 meters from the BSN line.
Heroic defence in the last few minutes and a try saving tackle by Arthur who narrowed the angle and caught the Delft winger
Relentless Delft pressure from this point on started to tell, on both the players and supporters. Nerves also started to play a part with too many handling errors. This eventually resulted in a try and conversion for Delft closing the points gap again to 3 points with only 4mins left to play.
From the side-line the last 4 minutes were almost unbearable to watch, and endless Delft attack after attack seemed to crash in like waves on a beach. For a couple of minutes it seemed BSN would cling on but then, devastatingly, Delft broke through to score a try and snatch the lead in the final minute of play.
The heart-breaking final score-line
A jubilant Delft congratulate a disconsolate BSN
Game stats: courtesy Neville ‘stato’ Conway:
1st Half summary – Tries Delft 2 : 2 BSN, Conversions Delft 1 : 2 BSN
Seb Conway Try at 0:05:05 in the 1st half
Stuart Conversion at 0:05:25 in the 1st half
Elliot Try at 0:09:27 in the 1st half
Stuart Conversion at 0:10:19 in the 1st half
Delft Try at 0:15:10 in the 1st half
Delft Try at 0:25:16 in the 1st half
Delft Conversion at 0:26:15 in the 1st half
Half time score: Delft 12 : 14 BSN
2nd Half summary – Tries Delft 3 : 2 BSN, Conversions Delft 2 : 2 BSN
Sandy Try at 0:08:16 in the 2nd half
Stuart Conversion at 0:08:40 in the 2nd half
Delft Try at 0:14:01 in the 2nd half
Delft Conversion at 0:15:02 in the 2nd half
Jay Try at 0:17:27 in the 2nd half
Stuart Conversion at 0:18:25 in the 2nd half
Delft Try at 0:24:03 in the 2nd half
Delft Conversion at 0:25:04 in the 2nd half
Delft Try at 0:28:43 in the 2nd half
Full time score: Delft 31 : 28 BSN
Backs – Jay, Eduardo, Sam, Seb C, Seb CL, Williams, Safwan
Forwards: Stuart, Mika, Kieran, Elliot, Hector, Sandy, Laurens, Dennis, Peter, Arthur, William, Zhangir, Alex, Andrew