RUGBY SW1 EAST: SALISBURY 30 BICESTER 11 – PAUL CHRISP
Apart from a 4 minute period, just 10 minutes after Half time, Bicester competed admirably, on equal terms, with 3rd in the table Salisbury at Castle Road. The visitors turned round 3 points behind, but soon conceded 2 converted tries early in the 2nd period, before a Dan Spencer penalty goal reduced the deficit to 14 points. Then right at the end Salisbury were able to claim a bonus point victory with a 4th try. The Bicester front row of Gareth Evans, Will Anns, Josh Preston and replacement Alex Macdonald were again rock solid, winning 2 scrums against the head in the second half, with hooker Will Anns playing his 75th consecutive game for the Bicester 1st team, a truly magnificent achievement. Behind the scrum, centre and man of the match Shaun Reddish and full Back Adam Hall were both outstanding, but Bicester paid dearly for conceding 17 penalties during the course of the match.
Straight from the kick off Bicester were awarded a scrum following good play by Shaun Reddish, and the ball was quickly spun out wide to the left where Adam Hall scorched 30 metres to the corner for an unconverted try. 7 minutes later, fly half Charlie Bethell was off target with a penalty kick on the left side, from 40 metres. A period of Salisbury pressure then followed, during which they kicked 3 penalties into touch for line-out possession, but the visitors kept their line intact, thanks to strong defence by Will Anns and no.8 Wes Westaway. Soon a Salisbury try was disallowed due to a forward pass, but straightaway, a Bicester clearance kick on their left side was charged down by Salisbury no.8 James Hill and scrum half Rob Larcombe stretched across in the corner for an unconverted try. Good work from a scrum by Wes Westaway and a quick break by Adam Hall then resulted in a penalty award to Bicester which Charlie Bethell slotted over from 21 metres and though Salisbury fly half Matthew Loader shot wide from 20 metres, he made amends with a 21 metre penalty goal, 16 minutes from halftime. Immediately Bethell was unsuccessful with a penalty chance for Bicester and on the stroke of half-time Loader banged over a kick from 25 metres out on the left side.
Wes Westaway, who was sinbinned for a line infringement, before Loader’s second penalty, returned to the field, with the scoreline still 11-8 in Salisbury’s favour, but soon the hosts’ no.8 James Hill ploughed across from a scrum and flanker Bobby Saunders then finished off some slick handling in the centre from a tap penalty move. Fly Half Loader converted both tries, but 3 minutes later Bicester replacement Dan Spencer landed a superb 40 metre penalty goal. A Salisbury 2nd row forward was sinbinned shortly after but though industrious flanker Ryan Biscoe went close, Will Anns excellent lateral pass into the centre was spilled and the visitors failed to break down this well organised home defence. Finally intense Salisbury pressure in the Bicester half ended with centre Jack Sheldrake crossing out wide on the right for an unconverted try.
MARLOW 2nd XV 12 - 21 BICESTER 2nd XV (TRIES: STEVE BARRETT, CHRISTIAN MANN, RYAN GALLACHER. CONV: GEORGE UPTON)
BICESTER 3rd XV HWO AYLESBURY 3rd XV (HOME WALKOVER)
SAT 2ND DECEMBER: BICESTER V SWINDON (HOME)