On a miserable day of wet and windy conditions Bicester were determined to kick off their league campaign with a good result. Playing downwind for the first half, Bicester were camped in the Henley half for most of the first twenty minutes without scoring. Only dogged Henley defence stopped Ed on a number of occasions as well as Dan W, Cameron, Tom, Rhys and Alan from crossing the line for the first try.
After a few good phases of forward play Ieuan cut round the blind side to set Lewis on his way from 30 yards out and with three defenders to beat to score. Dan's conversion attempt was narrowly missed. Henley stuck to their task but Bicester were soon back in their half applying pressure through a number of forward drives which resulted in a Ed barging over only for the try to be disallowed. The resulting scrum was a bit scrappy but Cameron emerged from the back and drove over for a second try well converted by Dan. At this stage Bicester were looking comfortable and went into the break 12-0.
Henley stepped up a gear in the second half and with the wind at their backs they were soon applying pressure on the Bicester line. After a series of powerful, well coordinated forward drives Henley were finally rewarded for their efforts with a try which was converted to make the score 12-7 with 25 minutes to go. Over the next 10 minutes Henley lost 2 players to injury but rather than wilt under the pressure it seemed to spur them on. For the remainder of the match Henley looked the more likely scorers but determined defence on the Bicester line and a few breakaway runs by Lewis, Archie and Rhys ensured that Bicester held on for a much needed win.
Credit to Henley for hanging in as they did with reduced numbers!
Tough conditions to play the fast expansive game we love but a hard fought win!
Well done squad: Ed, Garin, Tom, Alan, Ashley, Adam, Dan B, Cameron, Christian, Ieuan, Dan W, Rhys, Archie, Lewis, Ethan, Oscar, Harrison, Louis