Grove win Oxfordshire Cup 1st round match
Grove win big at Chipping Norton to progress to the 2nd round of the Oxfordshire Cup.
Grove travelled north and progressed to the next round of the Oxfordshire Cup with an emphatic 12 : 52 win over league rivals Chipping Norton this Sunday.
Grove started the game magnificently, scoring two tries within the first five minutes. The first came from flanker Guy Nicholl following brother and No. 8, Ben's break from the back of a 5 metre scrum. This was converted by scrum half Roger Sevier to put Grove 0 : 7 up. Almost immediately Grove went 0 : 12 up following a superb backs move which saw full back Chris Clare speed through the defence to score a cracker of a try out wide. Chippy were then unlucky when a difficult penalty attempt by them went just wide of the posts. Grove then spurned three kickable penalty attempts electing to go for scrummages instead where their pack were already beginning to dominate. With a Chippy forward then receiving a yellow card for apparent stamping Grove flanker Jon Chapman took advantage and went over the line following another good break and feed from Ben Nicholl. Roger Sevier's conversion took the score to 0 : 19. Good work from Chippy's No. 7 took them close to Grove's line and a smart crossfield kick to their waiting backs should have resulted in a try but for the dogged resistance of Grove right wing Harry Carr. With 25 minutes gone Grove's half backs uncharacteristically messed up with a poor pass from Roger Sevier to brother Nick who had to touch down behind his own try line. From the resultant 5 metre scrum Chippy's blind side flanker was able to run in an easy try and the score moved to 5 : 19. Grove remained dominant for the remainder of the half but due mainly to a whole series of handling errors and the introduction of passive scrummaging, could not increase their lead. With about 10 minutes to go in the half and with Grove pack absolutely destroying their counterparts in every set piece the referee ordered passive scrummaging for the sake of player safety even though Chippy were fielding an experienced front three! This clearly took away a major Grove advantage but with the result pretty much beyond doubt was probably the right thing to do. Grove's lock Stewart Sherwood was unlucky not to score following a penalty which he took himself, smashing his way to the line only to be stopped just short.
As a result of the change to passive scrummaging Grove made two tactical substitutions at half time. Jon North and Jamie Fredericks came on for props Jimmy Wallbridge and Martyn Walsh and Grove immediately started to look more lively particularly with good runs from Clare and Carr. Ben Law then substituted for fellow centre Ashley Lane. Grove's captain and fly half Nick Sevier then took a quick penalty on the Chippy 10 metre line and seeing gaps in the defence ran in a terrific solo try for brother Roger to convert for a 5 : 26 lead. Grove were now completely in control and following another great team attack Roger Sevier finished off with a lovely supporting run scoring a try between the posts which he also converted to put Grove completely out of sight at 5 : 33. Simon Peel now substituted for Jon Chapman and despite more handling errors Grove continued their domination but then against the run of play Chippy ran in a try between the Grove posts and the score moved to 12 : 33. Another big attack from Grove then resulted in Guy Nicholl bagging his second try for the day, converted by Roger Sevier to take the score to 12 : 40. Steve Proctor now substituted for Stewart Sherwood. Next Grove's veteran hooker Jon North broke out from loose play on his own try line and astonishingly sprinted all the way to Chippy's 22 before passing inside to wing Tom Harrington, who slipped it to Guy Nicholl who unselfishly passed to Harry Carr for the winger to touch down neatly. Before Roger Sevier's successful conversion the Chippy right winger was yellow carded for not releasing Harrington after making the tackle. The score now moved to 12 : 47 and it was not long before the half century was reached when Harry Carr touched down in the corner following great interplay between the backs. With the conversion missed the final score of 12 : 52 had been reached.