Grove 1st XV thrash Bicester
Grove top League table
Grove RFC handed out a 72:0 (actually it was 74:0 but the ref got the score wrong) thrashing to bottom of the table Bicester on Saturday and in so doing went to the top of the table themselves. The game was played in a very strong wind throughout which for the first half was in the face of the Grove players. Despite this they racked up 34:0 half time score thanks to tries from prop Richard Keen, debutante full back John Barrett, centre Nick Sevier, centre Jamie Burns, No. 8 Ben Nicholl, flanker Guy Nicholl and two conversions from fly half Roger Sevier. During the first half Bicester had a couple of opportunities to score tries but the first was thwarted by No 8 Ben Nicholl who blasted his way out of defence to alleviate the danger and the second failed following a good break by Bicester scrum half Craig Smith who unfortunately then dropped the ball over the Grove try line. A Bicester penalty shot at goal was also missed.Immediately following Bicester's second half kick off Grove left wing Tom Harrington gathered and sprinted half the length of the field to score between the posts for a try converted by Roger Sevier. Next, great interplay between Harrington and Barrett, allowed the full back to score his second try of the match. Then hooker Jon North got on the scoresheet with a neat try, converted by Roger Sevier. At this point Grove seemed to take their foot off the gas for about 10 minutes during which time there was no further scoring but then both Roger Sevier and Tom Harrington were unlucky not to score tries when firstly Sevier was called back by the referee for a dubious knock on having gone clear followed by Harrington being taken out with a high tackle right on the try line. Jason Evans then made his first appearance for Grove this season, substituting for right wing Paul Shephard and immediately scored a simple try with his first touch of the ball. This was converted by Roger Sevier to give Grove an unassailable 60:0 lead.
Almost immediately Evans was back over the Bicester try line but unfortunately dropped the ball from what looked like being a certain second try for the substitute. Scrum half Will Mackenzie then scored a try, converted by Roger Sevier and then Evans made amends for his earlier faux pas with a neat kick to the corner which Nick Sevier sprinted after to bag his second and Grove's final try of the match.
Unfortunately the match was called to a halt some eight minutes early, by mutual consent of both captains, after a Bicester player was left unconscious following a hard but legal Grove tackle for which an ambulance had to be called to the field.
Although Bicester were not able to put up the strongest of challenges in this match, Grove were awesome in both attack and defence, particularly the back row and scrum half combination which constantly destroyed anything Bicester attempted. The Grove backs showed what they could do with good possession and new boy John Barrett was outstanding in attack.