Hon­ours even as pul­sat­ing derby goes down to the wire

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - RACING - MIKE DE BRUYN

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WHAT a game at Pi­ley Rees on a cold and windy day yes­ter­day!

The 70-minute Un­der-19A fix­ture hung in the bal­ance right up un­til ref­eree Nathan Swartz blew his fi­nal whis­tle a few min­utes over time.

Swartz called time with Ron­de­bosch maul­ing their way over the try­line but un­able to ground the ball.

“I think a draw was the right re­sult,” said try-scor­ing Bish­ops lock Ano Mtombeni, who was ad­judged the man of the match. “But we were de­fend­ing for our lives at the end. We took it to them in the first half, them to us in the sec­ond.

Bish­ops dom­i­nated the first 35 min­utes with a cross­wind in their favour as shown by their to­tal dom­i­nance in the ter­ri­tory (73%) and pos­ses­sion (55%) stakes.

Bosch were placed un­der se­vere pres­sure and had to rely on stout de­fence to shut out po­ten­tial threats.

The hosts strung phases to­gether in the score zone and made it count in the 27th minute through an un­con­verted try dot­ted down by left­wing Alex Jankovich-Be­san.

Bish­ops full­back Bingo Ivani­se­vic set it all up with a pow­er­ful run at the Bosch de­fence, and from the en­su­ing break­down fly­half Jor­dan Meyer fed half­back part­ner Wil­liam Rose with a long pass, who did the same to open up space for Jankovich- Be­san to go over un­chal­lenged.

Bosch had had to wait 17 min­utes to get into Bish­ops’ half.

And while they would spend the next five min­utes camped inside en­emy ter­ri­tory, no re­wards were to be had in the face of a well-spaced de­fen­sive line that was for­ti­fied by a front eight that sel­dom missed a tackle in the tight skir­mishes.

Bosch would fall 10-0 be­hind 15 min­utes into the sec­ond half when Bish­ops launched a counter at­tack.

A maul was set in mo­tion a me­tre short of the line and Mtombeni broke away from the left side of it to score.

Bosch needed to make some­thing hap­pen go­ing into the fi­nal 20 min­utes and a penalty goal from fly­half Conor van Eden of­fered up hope of at least a share of the spoils.

The vis­i­tors in blue jer­seys started to mount a se­ries of raids and no sur­prise when loose­head prop Seth Chris­tian bull­dozed his way over the paint, and for Eden to con­vert to level the scores.

Who would win it from here was up in the air.

Bosch were more threat­en­ing in the clos­ing stages.

A fi­nal push from their side saw left-wing Thoubaan Gabriels go­ing close be­fore a maul off the fi­nal play was held up in the tackle by the home side.

Bosch coach Mark Lin­den­berg ends his third and fi­nal year with a 50 per­cent win record this sea­son.

Bish­ops coach Wes Chetty may feel his charges let this one slip away…

Ano Mtombeni.

Alex Jankovich-Be­san,

Seth Chris­tian. Con­ver­sion: Conor van Eden. Penalty: Van Eden

PETER HEEGER

BLOCK­ING MOVE: Matthew Klin­gen­berg of Bish­ops drives into Ron­de­bosch No 8 Jo­han Strauss at Pi­ley Ress Field

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