Grove got things under way and were quickly onto the front foot, pressing Phoenix back into their own 22. But the Phoenix defence was strong and kept them at bay for some time. Inevitably a Grove won a penalty and established a 3 point lead after a quarter of an our. The Grove outfit looked the more composed side and were able to generate good attacking positions but wrong options in their three-quarter line helped the Phoenix defence. Phoenix had their chances however and Ollie Campbell at no. 8 was the most energetic Phoenix forward on the field. The sheer pace particularly from Phoenix fly-half Ben Wood
helped Phoenix both in attack and defence. Dave McMillan
broke through at centre but his scoring pass just went forward 5 meters out. Woods slotted a penalty for Phoenix to level the scores however. But still Grove kept pressing Phoenix. McMillan was replaced by Townsend with just 5 minutes of the half remaining and with almost his first touch of the ball Townsend was on the scoresheet. Phoenix moved the along their threequarters and Townsend cleverly kicked through and gathered a favourable bounce to cross half way out on the right and give Phoenix an unexpected 8 points to 3 lead at the break.
Phoenix got the second half under way but found themselves soon under pressure from the Grove threequarters. Grove maintained their form and pressured the Phoenix defence generating several overlaps. However they continued to take the wrong option at centre and Phoenix were let off the hook. Eventually however they realised the error of their ways and Phoenix struggled to hold them. Two quick tries established Grove as the likely victors midway through the second half, the first of which resulted from a Phoenix defensive error from which Grove took full advantage and an excellent conversion gave Grove a deserved lead. The second was well constructed and the second conversion from the touchline was sweetly struck. Grove finished things off in the final 5 minutes with their third try to take the match by 24 points to 8.
Next weekend, Phoenix 1st XV entertain Littlemore at Institute Road kick-off 3.00 p.m. Everybody is welcome.
Phoenix: K Manning, S Smith, C Vaughan, N Wyncombe, N Coltman, A Brench, P Devlin, O. Waldron, K Roach, B Wood, M Moire, D McMillan, J Dainty, L Collins, A Carey.
Subs: A. Herd, M. Lloyd, J. Townsend.