S.W.1 EAST BICESTER 12 vs ROYAL WOOTTON BASSETT 38 BY PAUL CHRISP
Bicester began in style, scoring 2 tries to lead 12-0 after 13 minutes, but visitors Royal Wotton Bassett then replied with 2 converted tries to turn round, with a 2 point advantage, and with the slope in their favour, they added 4 more tries, to out play the hosts during the second period.
Once again, the Bicester forwards performed admirably, especially in set scrums, but their defence was under constant threat from the slick handling moves of Bassett’s quick-fire backs. Four of the visitors’ tries emanated from line-outs, where they won a lot of good clean ball. Nor was Bicester’s cause helped by conceding a total of 15 penalties during the match and they lost scrum-half Ollie Dawkins to the sin-bin, 4 minutes from half time. As a consequence of this defeat, Bicester slip to 12th place in the league table, 1 point behind 11th placed Swindon, who won away at Wimborne.
Following an early Bassett penalty award, Bicester kicked their first penalty into touch on the left and from the line-out, centre Max Valevou linked with fly-half Charlie Bethell, before flanker Ryan Biscoe, in the centre, sent lock Freddie Myatt scampering across, for an unconverted try on the right. More good play by Myatt and Biscoe preceded Bicester’s 2nd penalty award, which this time was fired into touch on the right, and though the hosts transgressed in the maul, the ensuing Bassett scrum ended in disarray, and Bicester no.8 Wes Westaway was held up close to the line, as he drove off the Bicester scrum. However, from another 5 metre scrum, Wes Westaway ploughed across for a try, which Ollie Dawkins, also converted, from the 22 metre line out-wide on the right. The visitors then scored 2 tries in quick succession, 14 minutes from half-time. First, after Bicester infringed at a maul, Bassett kicked the penalty into the left corner, and from the line-out, scrum-half Tom Fieldsend, peeled off the maul to race across for a try on the left. Lock Dave Hogg converted this and the try that followed immediately, when full-back Fin Dewar darted across direct from a scrum.
4 minutes later after the break, with Bicester still down to 14 men, Bassett no.8 Phil Bardwell drove across for an unconverted try, from the 2nd of two successive line-outs on the left. With Ollie Dawkins now back on the field, the visitors took full advantage of a Bicester handling error in the centre, and they quickly spun the ball out-wide to the right, where lock Sam Robinson crashed over the line for his side’s 4th and bonus point try. Ten minutes later, the visitors struck again, when, from a line-out, a tremendous 30 metre charge by flanker Tim Gallmore, presented Tom Fieldsend with his second try, to the right of the posts. This time, Dave Hogg added the extras, but he was then off target with a good penalty chance. Bicester winger Christian Mann went close from a scrum, but soon lock Andrew Faulkner retired with concussion, and right at the end, from yet another Wotton Bassett line-out, tight head prop Chris Rowland stretched across, for a try, to the left of the posts, with Dave Hogg converting for the 4th time.
Bicester 2nd XV 58 – 5 High Wycombe 2nd XV (TRIES: J. Preston 2, G. Howson 2, C. Smith, O. Dolbear, T. Hammond, M. Duncalf, A. Morgan, A. Atashgah. CONVS: A. Atashgah 2, M. Duncalf, P. Salkeld)
Oxford 2nd XV 22 – 12 Bicester 3rd XV (TRIES: T. Mansfield, S. John. CONV: S. John)
Sat 18th Nov, 2.30pm, Bicester v Witney (home), Oxon Cup