Bicester Colts headed north for their tour this year and took in the Newcastle Falcons v Bath game on the Friday (sorry Sam Burgess but we were not impressed). Highlights were Joey pulling out of a high five with the Pigeon (really a Falcon) mascot, dancing in the bar after the game and Inky-Pinky.
Then it was off on Saturday morning to West Hartlepool who were in the National League 1 in the 1990’s for the first game of the tour. A few tired bodies eased themselves from the coach and into a strong wind. After a quick warm up it was into the new shirts (thank you Multifold Doors and the Nigel Cassidy trust fund) and the crowd expectations were raised as the opposition were completely unknown.
It didn’t start well as West kicked off and Bicester dropped the ball and then gave a penalty at the scrum which West kicked 3 – 0. The Bicester restart into a raging wind didn’t go 10 and Bicester were under pressure. However Bicester slowly got into the game and made progress with a couple of good runs from where a penalty was awarded which Sam kicked 3 – 3. West were now using the wind to pin Bicester back and from a lineout West won the ball and with a missed tackle went over 10 – 3. But as ever this Bicester team didn’t panic and showed great patience to work themselves down the pitch. West won a lineout but excellent pressure in the backs saw the ball being dropped and an attempted flyhack went straight into Mark with the ball rebounding into Sam’s hands to go over to score and convert 10 – 10. West again used the wind well to gain ground and were awarded a penalty which they kicked 13 – 10 to end the first half in the lead.
Bicester had some encouraging words at halftime and came out strongly in the second half. The forwards started to make ground with some pick and drives until Callum was able to break through and score with Sam converting 13 – 17. Again Bicester picked up the pace and put real pressure on West before Ed found a gap round the fringes to go through and score with Sam converting 13 – 24. Bicester were now playing some good rugby using both their forwards and backs, a nice break saw Bicester up to the West 22 and with good support Louis received the ball but was tackled on the line but with a full stretch he made it with Sam converting 13 – 31. West didn’t give up and were a strong team with some good runners and with a nice line they cut through to score 18 – 31. Bicester still had time to show that they could run and another break saw Bicester over the West line but they were held up. From the 5m scrum Cameron picked up and powered over to score with Sam converting (100% of kicks) to end the game 18 – 38.
After a slow start Bicester built the momentum to overcome a strong and determined opposition. Man of the Match: Adam for another electric performance. Squad of: Callum, Oscar, Max, Ed, Harrison, Ashley, Joey, Adam, Dan B, Cameron, Christian, Sam, Lewis, Jonny, Mark, Michael, Louis ably supported on the touchline by Liam and Dan W.