RUGBY S.W.I EAST: BICESTER 17 WIMBORNE 23 – BY PAUL CHRISP
Bicester came very close to winning their first game at level 6 against newly promoted opponents Wimborne, however despite losing the penalty count 18-8, the visitors ball retention was superior, and the Bicester line-out wobbled especially in the crucial 2nd period when they lost 4 from the overall tally of 6. Wimborne had the edge at place kicking also. Centre Harry Bazalgette was successful with 4 of his 5 attempts, whereas home Fly-half Charlie Bethell, who otherwise played well, could manage just 1 conversion kick, and no penalties. These limitations aside, Bicester competed ferociously throughout, and they dominated both the first 15 minutes of play, and the final 20 minutes. Flanker Dan Spencer was nominated ‘man of the match’ for his outstanding ball carrying skills. In the end, Bicester were rewarded, for a gutsy performance, by earning a bonus point. Charlie Bethell was off target with an early 30 metre penalty kick, but Bicester were ahead after 10 minutes, when strong driving down the centre by flankers Francois Wiese and Dan Spencer, preceeded a quick break by centre Lemeki Valevou, and winger George Upton cut a lovely line, to streak over on the left for a try which Bethell converted. Bicester struck again 10 minutes from half-time. Bethell drilled a penalty long and deep into touch on the right, and from the line out winger Peter Tarrega latched onto a perfectly timed pass to race across on the left, for an unconverted try. The visitors replied 5 minutes later when fly-half Thomas Moysey’s quick tap penalty move set up a break up the left flank, resulting in a try for scrum-half Ryan Maidment. Harry Bazalgette added the conversion points. On the stroke of half time, a 41 metre penalty attempt by Charlie Bethell dropped just short of the posts.
4 minutes after the break, Bazalgette reduced the Wimborne deficit to 2 points, with a 35 metre penalty kick following a malfunctioning Bicester line-out, and moments later he slotted over a 38 metre kick to give his side a one point lead. Bazalgette was then off-target with a 30 metre kick, but he quickly made amends by brilliantly catching a high ball on the right before scampering across for a try, which he converted from 20 metres. Immediately, Bicester once again lost their line-out ball, and Wimborne looked to be home and dry, as fly-half Tom Moysey dropped a goal from 40 metres. The visitors advantage was now 11 points, but Bicester refused to lie down. Dan Spencer went close on the left after strong running by replacement flanker Adam Chambers, and Francois Wiese. Then Peter Tarrega almost scored, also on the left. Next Wiese was on the point of crossing the line from a scrum when the ball was dislodged from his grasp. replacement prop Tom Horwood then drove up the middle, and from another scrum to the hosts, Wiese combined with Valevou in the centre, to send lock Andrew Faulkner charging through a narrow gap to the right of the posts for an unconverted try. The Bicester waves of powerful drives and off loads continued, as full back Christian Mann sent Adam Chambers on another surge up the leftside. Finally Bicester were held up on the right, following good play from a penalty move by lock Ali Atashgah.
Saturday Sept 9th – SWI East Bicester v Banbury (away)
BBO 4 North – Bicester 3rds v Gosford All blacks 2nds (away)
With Many Thanks - Paul
Updated 16:08 - 5 Sep 2017 by Keith Upton