Bicester travelled to Beaconsfield unsure whether they would play in the frosty conditions for their last game of 2011. After spending a long time in the changing rooms the boys finally trooped out onto a pitch that was just taking a stud. A quick count up revealed that we had 17 players of which only 6 were forwards and no recognised props! So Mark and Rhys were quickly co-opted into the back row with Daniel B and Max at prop.
The game started and contrary to their initial appearance the boys were really up for it and played as a team, diving on the ball, making tackles and generally getting stuck in. The game was very even and possession to’d and fro’d without either side able to make a breakthrough. The Bicester scrum was very solid and even managed to put on a push, the backs were trying to run the ball but Beaconsfield were up extremely quickly with the centres often receiving man and ball making it difficult to exploit our speed out wide. At this stage Bicester showed some frustration and started throwing some wild passes which Beaconsfield tried to exploit but good defence held them out. Towards the end of the first half Bicester ran the ball from their own 22 only for a knock on to be picked up by the Beaconsfield winger who with the advantage being played put in a kick over the top and just managed to win the race to touch it down 0 – 5.
The second half began with Bicester determined to up their game with Toby coming on for his last appearance for Bicester. From a scrum Mark picked up at No.8 and with some neat running and a couple of handoffs ran in to score a fine individual try 5 – 5. Bicester began to exert some real pressure and were looking the more likely to score except for some good defence from Beaconsfield. In a rare excursion towards the Bicester line the ball was passed back into the Bicester dead ball area from where the clearing kick was charged down and out of play. The resulting scrum 5 to Beaconsfield had us (well at least Chris) scurrying for the law books. From the scrum Beaconsfield span the ball wide to score in the corner 5 – 10. From the kick-off Bicester were straight back with a crunching tackle by Cameron D setting the ball up and good rucking making the ball available. Bicester kept pressing but could not convert some storming runs and drives. Beaconsfield ran the ball and their centre dropped it and knocked the ball forward, Bicester seemed to stop but no whistle came (the referee later apologised for missing it!) and Beaconsfield stormed forward to score 5 – 15. After this set back the heads could have dropped, but no Bicester again went forward and from a resulting penalty Max was driven over the line to score with Christian converting 12 – 15. Only seconds remained and Beaconsfield won a scrum and hoofed the ball into touch for the final whistle to go.
Well done boys (Max, Garin, Daniel B, Dan T, Ashley, Cameron D, Rhys, Mark, Ieuan, Ed, Ben L, Tom C, Benjamin, Cameron, Dan W, Christian and Toby) a real team performance where commitment and a desire to perform really shone through, of which both coaches and parents can be proud.
Have a great Christmas break ready for more mud and glory in the New Year.