Bristol falter in ugly Winter return
With the Barracuda’s final 2018 fixture cancelled after a forfeit from Bath Spa, Bristol travelled to Bournemouth looking to keep up their winning momentum.
Despite starting with the ball, the Cuda offense failed to put forward much of an attack and Bristol fell to an early touchdown from Bournemouth’s running back.
Bristol’s offensive weapons continued to waver as successive drives ended with the punt team taking over. With penalties, sacks and a passing offense lacking spark, the Barracuda would have to rely on their defence to keep them in the game. Bristol defense were determined to do just that, holding firm against a lacklustre Bournemouth offense and amassing four fumble recoveries over the course of the game from Giorgos Kakouris, Jonny Read, Phil Madubeko and Elliott Scott.
A stale and frustrating game for both sides would see 22 consecutive drives go by without a score. A attempted field goal from the Bobcats went wide just before half-time with both Bristol and Bournemouth hoping for a more inspired second period.
Little can be said, however, for the second half, as the South West’s offenses stagnated and the balance of the game continued to sway back and forth between the two teams’ punt units. Phil Madubeko demonstrated his veteran edge as he notched an interception in the fourth quarter but more penalties and incompletions would lead to another three-and-out for the offense. Bournemouth added another touchdown late on, once again on the ground and this would prove to be the final score of the day. Bournemouth 13, Bristol 0.
The few positives that can be drawn from the game are the Barracuda’s individual defensive performances. Defensive tackle Elliott Scott put in a routinely stoic performance in the trenches with 12 tackles and a fumble recovery. Alongside him defensive end Max Wood showed his teeth with 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack and a forced fumble.
The Barracuda fall to their first defeat of the season and look to bounce back against Worcester in February.
Photos courtesy of Chris Coope