BBO DIV 2 BICESTER 2ND’S 30 READING 2ND’S 22 BY PAUL CHRISP
In a game of two halves Bicester dominated the first session, scoring 3 of their 4 tries to turn round 20-7 ahead after playing uphill before visitors Reading fought back strongly reducing their arrears to 5 points, 10 minutes from the end, to set up a nail biting finish. Then a George Upton penalty goal, with 2 minutes left ensured Bicester earned a 5 point victory and denied second placed Reading a second extra bonus point. Though Reading were strong in the scrummages, Bicester were distinctly superior in the line-outs, from where 3 of their four tries emanated. Second row Ryan Gallacher was named man of the match for an excellent all round performance. In an action packed second half, Bicester winger Kieran Holliday was sin-binned 19 minutes from time, and with just 10 minutes play remaining Reading centres Sebasse Fuah and Lexi Dorliac were red carded for verbal abuse and leaving the field without permission respectively. A few moments later, Bicester skipper and hooker Jake Sawyer, retired due to a head injury.
Straightaway Bicester heeled a Reading scrum against the head and following good play by lock Ali Atashgah and fly-half Adam White, full back George Upton banged over an 18 metre penalty goal. Then a slick crossfield handling move from a line-out on the right, ended with no.8 Freddie Myatt storming across for an unconverted try. Seventeen minutes from half time Bicester struck again, when prop Tom Horwood stole Reading line-out ball, and no.8 Myatt touched down behind the posts for his second try. George Upton added the extras and immediately after a rampaging charge up the middle by Ryan Gallacher, winger Ethan Riley streaked over in the right corner, for an unconverted try. On the verge of half-time a Bicester kick was charged down and Reading centre Sebasse Fuah sprinted across wide out on the leftside for a try which Sam Bowers also converted.
7 minutes after the break, reading lock Ashley Champion plunged across from a driven line out on the left. Next a penalty kick from 39 metres by Adam White dropped short of the posts, but midway through the second half Bicester extended their lead to 15 points with a spectacular try. From a line out ball passed through the hands of prop Josh Preston, lock Ali Atashgah, centre Matt Duncalf and prop Alex Macdonald, before replacement Christian Mann’s lightning break through the centre, took him past 3 defenders, under the posts for a try, which George Upton also converted. The visitors bounced straight back following the temporary absence of Kieran Holliday, with first winger Andrew Nason and then front row replacement Richard Bettingham scoring unconverted tries. Finally, superb driving by forwards Ali Atashgah, Tom Horwood and Freddie Myatt, was rewarded with a penalty kick for Bicester which George Upton slotted over from the 22 metre line, 2 minutes from the referees final whistle.
Stratford-upon-Avon v Bicester: postponed
Buckingham 3rd XV 57-0 Bicester 3rdXV
FIXTURES, Saturday 16th December:
Bicester v Banbury (home)
Readingensians 4th XV v Bicester 2nd XV (away)
Bicester 3rd XV v Wheatley 2nd XV (home)