With a last minute change in fixture Bicester welcomed Marlow to Oxford Road where the rain kept away and the game started in the sunshine. Due to the number of players it was agreed to play three 20 minute periods to allow game time for all.
The first period started with Bicester trying to run the ball from first phase and found they were up against some great defensive backs and couldn’t break through. After a while Bicester got their game plan working and the forwards took the ball on setting up some good ruck ball which was quickly spun out to Lewis who showed his usual turn of pace to go round the opposition and under the posts for Dan W to convert 7 – 0. Marlow came back and put pressure on the Bicester line which was well defended by the home team and after winning the ball back Max made a break which Dan T took on before the ball went to Mark who ran in from half way with Dan W converting 14 – 0. Marlow continued to put in some hard tackles and tried to move the ball, from one move their centre ghosted through a gap to score under the posts 14 – 7. This was the signal for Bicester to up their game and the forwards set up a series of drives before the ball was moved through the backs for Cameron H to score out wide 19 – 7.
Changes were made by both teams as the second period got underway but this did not seem to affect the flow of the game. Bicester were now playing open rugby looking to off load to the support runners whenever possible until Tom C saw a gap and raced 50 metres to score with Christian converting 26 – 7. From a scrum on halfway Benjamin made a break but was just stopped on the line where Bicester were penalised at the ruck. Marlow kicked the penalty but failed to make touch with Bicester catching the ball and running it back for Rhys to go in at the corner 31 – 7. Marlow tried to pressure Bicester but couldn’t find a way through and Adam ripped the ball out and put in a kick and chase where the ball was regained and spun out to Cameron H who dummied and went over with Christian converting 38 – 7.
The third period started with Bicester showing some complacency and allowed Marlow to come back into the game with three well taken tries (where were those tackles?) by their centre to close the score to 38 – 28. A stern talking to under the posts and Bicester upped their game and went back to what they do well, rucking, setting the ball and running at the opposition. Marlow though were now buoyed by their recent scores and started to pressure Bicester but a mislaid pass allowed the ball to bounce open and Mark expertly picked it up and outpaced everyone over 70 metres to score with Dan W converting 45 – 28. Bicester were now back to their best and Dan W put in a finely judged cross field kick into an open space for Lewis to put on the after burners to get to the ball first to touch down out wide which was followed by a great conversion by Dan W 52 - 28. Bicester continued to drive forward and soon the ball was out to Lewis who again showed his speed to run on the outside and finish under the posts 57 – 28. The referee called last play as Marlow kicked off and Bicester ran the ball back with support and offloads all over the pitch involving the whole team before Mark took the direct route to go under the posts for the final score 62 – 28.
A really impressive performance against a good Marlow side with contributions from the whole squad Max, Mark, Rhys, Tom C, Ben L, Oscar, Tom B, Harrison, Dan W, Ethan, Benjamin, Dan B, Alfie, Dan T, Christian, Adam, Ashley, Cameron H, Lewis, Ieuan, Cameron D, Alan.