After the last couple of weeks we were not sure what Bicester team would show up and with resources stretched through injuries Bicester had to dig deep for this difficult league match against Chinnor. How pleased the crowd were to see the real Bicester return to produce a fighting performance where the final score did not reflect the closeness of the teams and with a bit of luck could have seen a different result.
Playing into a biting wind Bicester kicked off for the first half and were straight into Chinnor not allowing them to settle. First up tackles, which in previous weeks had been notable by their absence, were going in and Chinnor players brought down not allowing them any space to run the ball. Both teams were competing at the breakdown and rucking good ball on their own possession and trying to make ground through forward drives. But both defences were up for it and the game was played mostly in the middle of the pitch with neither side able to make an impression. Bicester eagerness led to them giving away a few penalties which Chinnor ran but again good cover defence kept them out. This led to Chinnor opting to kick at goal from a penalty which just slid past the post to Bicesters relief. Again both teams battled for the ball and to make ground until finally Chinnor found an overlap but the Bicester cover defence got across to bundle them into touch, however the referee awarded a penalty to Chinnor for handling on the ground and Bicester were not fast enough to regroup and a quick tap allowed Chinnor to dive over to score 0 – 7 and end a pulsating first half.
The second half saw a similar pattern to the first with both teams trying to make breaks but being stopped with Bicesters rush defence being particularly effective not allowing Chinnor any space to run the ball. Bicester began to make some yardage with good driving runs which just lacked the support at the crucial moment. Chinnor were themselves looking for gaps and asking questions of Bicesters defence which continued to stand strong. Bicester rucked and Josh picked the ball and drove through a couple of tackles before passing out to Benjamin to score, but no the referee called it back for a debateable forward pass. Chinnor began to press and cleverly changed their tactics reverting to kicking for position forcing Bicester to turn back into their 22. The game was nearing its end and Bicester infringed from which Chinnor decided to kick at goal which this time was successful 0 – 10. There was just time left for Chinnor to run the ball wide around tired Bicester legs for their fullback to score 0 – 15 and the final whistle sounded.
An excellent performance against a good Chinnor side where the final score did not reflect the game and we just needed a couple of decisions to go our way. Everyone fronted up and made those important tackles, makes the game so much easier and enjoyable, but special mention must go to Cameron D who ran and tackled everything in front of him. If we can get some consistency week to week the results will come. Well done boys, squad of Josh, Alfie, Tom B, Ashley, Dan B, Harrison, Cameron D, Adam, Garin, Dan T, Christian, Max, Benjamin, Tom C, Rhys, Lewis, Ben L, Mark.