MATCH REPORT: Bicester 10 - 57 Banbury
By Paul Jaggers
#UpTheFox, @BicesterRUFC, @BanburyRFC
S.W.1.EAST BICESTER 10 BANBURY 57 – PAUL CHRISP
Bicester suffered their 7th successive defeat since their victory against Marlow on October 7th, and on this occasion, they were comprehensively outclassed by a vibrant Banbury side, who were superior in all phases. Apart from a single errant scrum, Bicester once again competed well in the forward exchanges, but the extra pace, cohesion and handling skills of the visitors backs ensure that an overworked Bicester defence, was under constant pressure in this one-sided game.
Banbury ran in 9 tries, 6 of which were converted by scrum-half Ed Phillips, but the gallant home side refused to roll over, and 10 minutes from the end, they were rewarded with a try, scored by their man of the match Adam Hall. Centre Dan Spencer added the extras together with a first half penalty goal.
Banbury opened their account after 8 minutes when no.8 Chris Phillips stretched across from a driven line-out on the right. The visitors lead was doubled to 10 points, 7 minutes later after a superb cross-field handling move to the right, ended with winger Dan Brady scoring in the left corner. Straightaway Brady latched onto a cross kick from the centre before racing in once more at the left side corner. This time, scrum half Ed Phillips added the conversion points, and immediately a Banbury fumble inside their 22 area in the centre of the field, gave Bicester a penalty chance, but surprisingly, Dan Spencer’s kick was off target. Spencer then put winger Peter Tarrega over to the left of the posts, but the pass was judged to be going forward. However, shortly afterwards, following good play by Adam Hall and lock Will Thurlow, Dan Spencer slotted over a penalty goal for Bicester. Next, Banbury launched an assault up the left side, and though Bicester were awarded a scrum in the centre, Banbury stole their line possession, with flanker Giles Saar touching down for an unconverted try, wide out on the right. Then 2 minutes from half time, Dan Spencer was sin-binned, and the driven line-out which ensued, resulted in fly-half Sam Stoop crossing for a try, which Ed Phillips also converted.
As Bicester lost their possession early in the 2nd half, scrum half Ed Phillips sprinted unchallenged down the right flank, for a try which he also improved, to put Banbury 36-3 ahead. The visitor’s flanker Jacob Mills was then sin-binned, but Bicester failed to take advantage of their numerical strength, and when mills returned he broke down the centre to dart across to the left of the posts, with Phillips converting the try. More strong running down the centre, gifted winger Tommy Gray a try. Ed Phillips converted both this and Banbury’s 9th try which followed when replacement hooker Seamus O’Dwyer crossed under the posts. Straightaway Bicester kicked a penalty into touch on the right, and as the forwards drove powerfully towards the try line, Adam Hall sprinted clear for a well deserved try, with Dan Spencer converting brilliantly from the right touchline.
BBO Div 2: Redingensians 4th XV 24 - 29 Bicester 2nd XV (Tries: A. Willmore, T. Hammond, D. Lawther 2, G. Nicholls. Convs: Ashley Timms 2). With Reading 2nd XV losing to Bracknell 3rd XV, Bicester are now second in the league with 34 points, just 1 point behind leaders Bracknell on 35.
BBO Div 4 N: Bicester 3rd XV 7 - Wheatley 2nd XV 17 (Try: S. John. Conv: S. John)
Sat 23rd Dec: Banbury U21s v Bicester U21s (Away)
Sat 6th Jan: Bicester v Witney (away)