BICESTER 24 STOW 27
Stow kept up the recent good form with this narrow win away at Bicester. This was the proverbial game of two halves, early pressure resulted in a penalty for Bicester before Stow opened their account with TED HOLMES taking advantage of a mistake from the home side, conversion missed. A second penalty from Bicester saw them take the lead briefly before another mistake saw GUS HAYWARD given possession, he took full advantage and scored close to the posts with Dan Adams converting. From the restart debutant Tom Davies won the ball, Gus Hayward made a break then offloaded to FREDDIE ROBERTS who beat the defence to score under the posts, Adams converted. Stow were looking strong in most areas apart from the scrum where they were being put under pressure resulting in some very messy ball and conceded penalties. However they went into the break 19 points to 6 but having to play up the hill second half. Stow extended their lead almost immediately, Bicester failed to deal with a loose ball in their lineout with TOM DAVIES reacting first to score, conversion missed. Then came the Bicester fightback, a third penalty took them to 9 points then another Stow scrum under pressure resulted in Bicester’s first unconverted try. Stow’s general tackling and defence was strong but too many penalties saw then loose territory. From one of these penalties Bicester kicked for touch, they won the lineout and drove over, try unconverted. With the final 5 minutes left on the clock Stow were desperately trying to hold out but Bicester managed to create space and score in the corner, with the conversion missed the score was 24 points each. With the final play of the game Stow took play 15 meters into the Bicester half where they were awarded a penalty, DAN ADAMS calmly stepped up and converted from long range, the final whistle blew and Stow had the full 5 points.
Next week Stow entertain Chesham in the last game before Christmas.