Bicester U14’s welcomed Stratford to Oxford Road in a game that ended with a fingernail biting finale. The game kicked off with the mist clearing and Bicester fielding a very light front row. Bicester pressured Stratford early on and a clearing kick was expertly fielded by Christian on the wing who outstripped the opposition cover to open the scoring 5 – 0. However Stratford hit back and begun to win some good ruck ball but for the second week in succession the midfield backs were producing excellent defence and knocking Stratford back. A passage of play followed where Bicester were unable to gain any control of the ball allowing Stratford three quick scores to go down 5 – 15. It was nip and tuck with both sides getting scrappy ball which proved difficult for the backs to make any headway with, when Max picked the ball up on the halfway line and with his usual outrageous dummy saw a gap and sprinted through to score under the posts which Ben L successfully converted. 12 – 15 going into half time.
The second half again saw the Bicester backs with slow ball making it difficult to use the runners out wide and Stratford pounced on a loose ball to run towards the line for a certain try but a superb covering tackle was put in only for the ball to pop up for a Stratford player to dive over 12 – 20. This seemed to annoy Bicester and the forwards started driving forward, Ben L put in a cross field kick which Benjamin expertly stole from his opposing winger to run around the defence to score wide out. Dan W stepped up and sweetly stroked the conversion through the posts 19 – 20. To their credit Stratford could have folded as Bicester started to get the upper hand but put in a couple of good kicks to set up a lineout near the Bicester line. What ensued is worth a few bob on ‘You’ve Been Framed’ as the ball bobbled over the Bicester line it was picked up and then with shouts of ‘kick it’ from his team mates our second row failed to get a good connection and Stratford pounced on the ball to score 19 – 25.
Bicester then started playing rugby and some good handling worked the ball up the pitch, the forwards joined in and rumbled over the Stratford line only to be held up. From the resulting 5 metre scrum Ieuan broke blind and fed Dan W who dived over in the corner 24 – 25. Dan W teed the ball up right on the touchline and gave it a real thwack, up it went on target just to fall a bit short, a really good effort. The referee signalled for full time with the Bicester boys disappointed at the final score 24 – 25.