Due to the pitch condition Bicester moved its return match with Stratford to Chesterton to ensure the game could go ahead. On a cold January morning Bicester took on a side who they only narrowly beat earlier in the season so a hard game was in prospect.
The first half started and immediately Stratford looked the keener side running the ball with width and finding the overlap. Only scrambled defence by Bicester kept Stratford from scoring. Bicester were competing well but again let Straford run the ball wide with their winger just stopped short of the line only for their faster support to pickup and dive over for the first score 0 – 5. Bicester came back but indiscipline gave Stratford a penalty which they passed down the line for their winger to out pace the defence to go over 0 – 10. Again it wasn’t until Bicester were behind that they decided to start palaying and some good work by the forwards moved Bicester into the Stratford 22 where they gave away a penalty. Staying positive Bicester decided to run the ball and a short pop to Ed saw him drive over to score 5 – 10. Stratford again came at Bicester and only good tackling held them out, from one tackle Rhys picked a loose ball and started a break out with the ball finally going to Max who danced and dazzled his way over 60 metres to score under the posts (I won’t mention his missed conversion) 10 – 10. Both sides now felt that they could get the upperhand but neither could quite make the break through until Stratford again ran the ball wide only for the winger to be held up over the line. From the resulting scrum the Stratford No.8 had a simple pick up and run to score 10 – 15 to end the first half.
The second half saw Bicester with their tails up and an impressive half of running rugby from both backs and forwards ensued. Suddenly good ball was being run and overlaps made which allowed Benjamin to show his skills in running outside and then cutting back inside the fullback to score with Max converting 17 – 15. Stratford were still in it and put pressure on Bicester but this time the defence was firm and Stratford could not get the ball out to their dangerous wingers. Bicester turned the ball over in their own 22 and broke out until they were stopped in the Stratford 22 but with the lineout going to Bicester. A four man was called and an accurate throw, good take and offload to Josh to crash through from the scrumhalf position to score 22 – 15. Bicester were now operating with confidence and not allowing Stratford any time on the ball, a series of forward drives set the ball up for the backs where Max made a break offloaded to Tom C who made a break and offloaded to Rhys to go over to score a classic try 27 – 15. Now everyone wanted to get in on the act and after a series of good backs and forwards interplay the ball was held up over the Stratford line. From the restart scrum Mark picked up from No.8 and gave Straford no chance as he drove over to score with Max converting 34 – 15. From the kickoff Dan T caught the ball and set off down the pitch brushing off the Stratford tacklers until he was held up short of the line but was able to offload to Mark who was up in support to score 39 – 15. Stratford should have learned but again from the kickoff the ball was taken by Josh who made ground before passing to Tom C to go 50 metres to score with Max converting 46 – 15 and the final whistle sounded.
An impressive display by the whole squad against a side who had taken us so close earlier in the season. Particularly pleasing was the defence and the passing which was in front of the player allowing him to run on to the ball, well done lads a good job well done. Squad of Drew, Garin, Oscar, Dan T, Ed, Harrison, Adam, Cameron D, Mark, Christian, James, Ben L, Tom C, Rhys, Cameron H, Max, Louis, Lewis, Ethan, Josh, Alfie, Tom B, Ashley, Ieuan, Benjamin