BBO DIV 3 WALLINGFORD 2NDS 29 BICESTER 2NDS 10
Bicester scored the first try of the match after 13 minutes and turned round just 12-10 in arrears, but Wallingford used the superior pace and handling skills of their backs to add a further 17 unanswered points in the second half. Bicester however refused to lie down, despite losing 5 players to injury during the game. Ollie Dolbear and Kieran Holliday departed during the 1st half and Craig Greenslade, Ben Biscoe and Ollie Morgan retired in the final session. The visitors took an early lead after fly half Aaron Corton broke sharply from a line out and the ball was then transferred from the ensuing scrum inside where centre Dan Horwood put full-back George Upton across to the right of the posts. Straightaway Bicester were penalised at their own scrum and Wallingford winger James Springer crossed to the left of the posts, with fly half Ralph Smith adding the extras. 15 minutes later, some excellent handling by Wallingford on the leftside ended with Ralph Smith sending full back Ed Poulding over for an unconverted try. Shortly afterwards, visiting winger Tevita Naleca picked up a loose ball on the left to race across in the left corner, for Bicester’s 2nd try. 10 minutes into the 2nd half, Wallingford moved the ball to the lefdt from a tap penalty and Springer sprinted across for his 2nd try. Ralph Smith converted both this and his sides 4th try 18 minutes later, after scrum possession was recycled out wide to the left with 2nd row forward Ed Searle stretching across in the corner. Visitors Bicester were now reduced to 14 men following the departure of centre Ben Biscoe, and 1 minute from time Ralph Smith slotted over a 21 metre penalty goal for the victorious home side.
Other Result – Bicester 3rds 7 Aylesbury (away)
OX COUNTY CUP SEMI-FINAL OXFORD UNIVERSITY GREYHOUNDS 23 BICESTER 11
In a pulsating county cup semi final Bicester were just 4 points in arrears until 15 minutes from full time when Oxford University scored their 3rd and final try to extend their lead to 9 points therby ending gallant Bicester’s magnificent challenge. The visitors were awarded a total of 15 penalties, 9 of them in the 1st half, when their forwards dominated both the scrums and the loose play. In addition, they won turnover ball 5 times in each half. However Bicester’s inability to convert a 10 minute period of immense pressure on the university line, into points at the end of the 1st half resulted in a four point half time lead for the students against the run of play. After the break Bicester failed to reproduce their earlier aggression and the university forwards had the edge, though the visitors defence was still outstanding as they confined their opponents to 1 try plus a couple of penalties. Tight head prop George Withers was named man of the match in a high quality team effort by the entire Bicester squad of 20 players.
Oxford were in front after 6 minutes as Bicester, having stolen their line out ball, kicked into touch and from the second Oxford line out blind side flanker Ollie Adams stretched across on the left. Straightaway, Bicester loose head prop Dave Lawther won a turnover in the loose play on the right and lock Dan Spencer banged over the resulting penalty kick, from 25 metres. George Withers then almost scored on the right, but soon more powerful driving play off a penalty from no.8 Wes Westaway on the left and the industrious Dave Lawther in the centre created the space for Dan Spencer to crash over in the right corner. Bicester were now ahead by 8 points to 5 after 18 minutes of play. 10 minutes before half time Oxford regained the advantage when a penalty was fired into touch on the right and from the line out the ball was transferred into the centre, wher full back Robbie Fraser darted under the posts for a try, which Tom Dyer also converted. Then followed a 10 minute period of imntense Bicester pressure inside the university 22 area, with both centres peter Tarrega and Francois Weise very close to a touchdown, after Bicester were awarded 5 scrums in quick succession. The university hooker Aaron Henry was sin-binned for handling in a ruck. The
university extended their lead to 7 points with a 20 metre penalty goal from the boot of Tom Dyer, 8 minutes after the break. Then as Oxford loose head prop Lewis Anderson was sin-binned, hooker henry returned to the field. Next Oxford were penalised at a scrum and when Bicester fly-half Charlie Bethell raced ahead, another penalty was conceded on the 22 line, which Dan Spencer slotted over to reduce the Bicester deficit to 4 points once again. Then after Bicester had stolen university line out ball, their clearance kick was gathered by oxford who counter attacked sharply through the centre before slick handling by the backs culminated in centre Dan Barley crossing for a try, wide out on the left. A stunning tackle by Francois Weise aborted another Oxford Uni try wide out to the left but 2 minutes from the end Tom Dyer stroked over another penalty goal from a distance of 18 metres to give his side a 12 point victory at the conclusion of this thrilling contest.
By Paul ChrispB
Updated 15:00 - 7 Mar 2017 by Bicester RUFC