Grove (17) vs. High Wycombe(7)
Grove back to winning ways
Grove made hard work of a low scoring victory against lowly High Wycombe on Saturday in very windy conditions. Grove played with the wind advantage in the first half and within two minutes fly half Mike Martin was able to have a penalty pop at the posts which unfortunately was missed. Grove kept up the pressure however and following a fine run from incoming colt Sam Bond on the right wing centre Tom Clipsham was able to touch down in the corner. Martin's conversion was unsuccessful but Grove were 5 : 0 up. It was Bond who launched Grove's next attack from deep defence when he made a fine elusive run to feed wing Brendon White who continued the progress deep into Wycombe territory although no scoring ensued. It was Clipsham who next set things alight with a beautiful side-stepping run which allowed him to feed the ball to White who touched down for Grove's second try but again the conversion attempt was missed so Grove were now 10 : 0 up. The Wycombe forwards were now generally getting the better of their Grove counterparts yet Grove continued to try keeping the ball with their pack from where lock Rory Gratwohl was looking ever more powerful. Finally with the ball coming out to the backs it was inside centre Nick Sevier who made a superb and elusive long running break, eventually popping to Clipsham for the outside centre to get his second try of the day. Martin's conversion was successful and Grove went into the second half with a 17 : 0 lead.
Now with the strong wind In their faces the second half was going to provide a different story to the first and so it proved. Naturally Wycombe used the wind and soon had a penalty attempt at the posts which was missed. Grove came back strongly with lock Paul Miles and No. 8 Ben Law in particular standing out. Wycombe regrouped and launched a massive attack at Grove but it was young Bond who saved the day with an amazing rescue act. Grove's escape was short lived however as the powerful visiting forwards eventually pushed over in the corner for a try, amazingly converted from the touchline for 17 : 7. Grove substitutes Simon Peel (for flanker Jack Ponting), Cash Chilvers (for hooker Pat Wiltshire) and Josh Allen (for Tom Clipsham) now entered the fray and Grove came back strongly. Flanker Jack Horrocks had a powerful run followed by more very strong work from Gratwohl but Grove were now really suffering at the hands of the referee and Wycombe had another penalty kick at goal which, fortunately for the home side, sailed wide. Grove were by now wearing Wycombe down and making hard yards through their forwards and this was visibly improved when the backs were brought into play. Finally Grove were unlucky not to gain the bonus point when Ben Law crashed over for a clear and perfectly good try which apparently went unseen by the referee and was thus disallowed!